Pastor Caught With Marijuana Granted N2m Bail (Photo)

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The founder and General Overseer of Christ Living Hope Church, Reverend Ekwem Emmanuel Ugochukwu has been granted bail.

A Federal High Court in Lagos granted him bail in the sum of N2million after he was accused of exporting 40 grammes of Cannabis Sativa, also known as marijuana, to Kenya.

Justice Daniel Osiagor made the order following Ugochukwu’s “not guilty” plea to a one-count charge of unlawful export of the banned drug during his March 29, arraignment by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The charge reads: “That you Ekwem Emmanuel Ugochukwu, male, adult, on or about the 7th day of March 2022 during the outward clearance of passengers of Ethiopia Airlines flight to Kenya at screening 1, Departure Hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos, without lawful authority exported 40 grammes of Cannabis Sativa, a narcotic drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin and LSD.”

According to NDLEA prosecutor Augustine Nwagu, the offence contravened Section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.”

Following the cleric’s plea, Mr. Nwagu applied for a trial date and prayed the court to remand Ugochukwu in Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) custody.

The defendant’s counsel, Benson Ndakara, did not oppose the application for trial but contended that a remand order was unnecessary.

Mr. Ndakara notified the judge that he had filed an application for Ugochukwu’s bail and same had been served on the prosecution.

Justice Osiagor, after taking arguments on the applications, upheld Ndakara’s prayer.

He admitted the Ugochukwu to bail in the sum of N2 million with one surety.

The surety, the judge ruled, must be a Director in a Federal or Lagos State government establishment.

He remanded the defendant in NCoS custody till the perfection of his bail terms and adjourned till June 26, for trial.