Home Business N8.8bn tramadol: Court okays Lagos billionaire’s further detention

N8.8bn tramadol: Court okays Lagos billionaire’s further detention


Justice Akintayo Aluko of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, granted leave to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to further detain a Lagos-based billionaire, Nsofor Ugochukwu, also known as Ugochukwu Nsofor Chukwukadibia, in its custody for a period of 14 days pending the conclusion of investigation.

The judge gave the order following an ex parte application by the NDLEA Prosecutor, Umar Hussain, which empowered the Agency to remand the defendant in its custody for an initial period of 14 days.

In an affidavit in support of the motion ex parte deposed to by a litigation officer attached to the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services at the NDLEA, Kareem Musibau, he stated that the respondent was arrested at Plot Z-130, Road 67 VGC Housing Estate along Epe Expressway in Lagos on September 30, 2022 in connection to the seizure of 10,598 kilogrammes of tramadol, while dealing and conspiring to distribute same to his associates in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

“That the Respondent is an illicit drug baron operating a Drug Trafficking Organisation in collaboration with his associates in Nigeria and other part sof the world.

“That this court has the powers under the law to make the orders sought on the motion paper nine.

“That it will serve the interest of justice if this application is granted.”

The NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, had in a statement said following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday September 30 stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin.

He stated that a search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13,451,466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day.

“Before his arrest, Ugochukwu who hails from Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State has been on the Agency’s watchlist as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.

“Preliminary investigation showed that he has about six mansions within the VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office. Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet jeep have been successfully removed to the Agency’s facility,” Babafemi said.

Babafemi said the arrest of Ugochukwu, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, is coming barely two months after the NDLEA uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Nzewi, who was arrested on Saturday, July 30, along with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him.”

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