The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday began the trial of 11 Filipinos accused of unlawfully importing cocaine.
The court commenced proceedings by hearing testimonies against the defendants from two witnesses of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The defendants are Gerapusco Fidel; Antolin Reynante; Bechayoa Edgar; Voltaire Tejero, Kent Ryan; Bryan Kamos; Ralph Christopher; Maningo Dennis; Romnick Albarracin; Ervin Pabuaya and Quetua Judezar Servilla.
According to the NDLEA, the 11 were arrested on November 7, 2021, at GDNL Terminal Apapa Port, Lagos, alongside a vessel, MV Karteria, for allegedly smuggling 13.65kg of cocaine into the country.
They were arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on May 20, 2022.
The Filipinos were represented by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), Mr. Femi Atoyebi and Mr. Babajide Koku.
The offences according to prosecution counsel Mr. Dinneys F. Owen contravened sections 11(b) and 14(b) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.
Mr. Owen opened prosecution by calling two witnesses, Mr. Fredrick Atoni and Mr. Luka Zaka, who identified themselves as exhibit keepers at the Lagos and Apapa Special Commands of the agency respectively.
Fredrick, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, narrated how the seized drug was brought to the Lagos Command office by the Apapa Special Command exhibits officer, Mr. Luka, on November 16, 2021.
Justice Oweibo adjourned the hearing till tomorrow. (Nation)