A Federal High Court, Lagos, presided over by Justice Peter Ufu, has ordered that Nigerian billionaire industrialist, Afam Mallinson Ukatu been remanded in a Correctional Home for alleged drug dealings.
He was detained along with Sunday Ifeanyi Ibekwete, his employee and co-defendant, following their arraignment by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Ukatu is the Managing Director of Mallinson & Partners Ltd, whom the NDLEA alleged imported two containers containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol worth N22billion in 2019.
The agency also claimed he was behind a N3billion shipment of tramadol linked to the suspended police chief, Abba Kyari.
The NDLEA brought both men before the judge on allegations of conspiracy, trafficking in 322 kilogrammes of Tramadol, unlawful dealing and possession of the said banned drug, in a charge marked FHC/L/159c/2021
It was alleged that Ukatu, Ibekwute and one Pius Enidom, who allegedly jumped bail, on May 4, 2021, conspired to commit the offence.
Prosecution counsel Mrs. Theresa Asuquo told the court that the alleged offences contravened Sections 14(b); 11 and 11(b) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty and their counsel, Emeka Opara (SAN), applied for their bail, saying they would not abscond.
Opara told the court that Ukatu is an industrialist in partnership with the Nigerian Air Force and was also a mass employer of labour, adding that the Ibekwute was one of the first defendant’s employees.
But Asuquo opposed him, arguing that they were a high risk to society.
Justice Lifu remanded both defendants in the NCoS’ custody and adjourned till July 18, for ruling on their bail applications.
The judge also issued a bench warrant against Enidom, following his failure to appear in court despite being issued a hearing notice.