Court freezes alleged transnational drug traffickers’ accounts

Court freezes alleged transnational drug traffickers’ accounts

The Federal High Court in Lagos has frozen the bank accounts of two suspected transnational drug traffickers, Basil Okafor Onochie and Okwuchukwu Edwin Izuchukwu, for 90 days.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro ordered two new generation banks to place a lien, also known as Post No Debit (PND), on their accounts pending investigation of their involvement in the alleged crime.

The judge made the order following a motion ex parte application by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/694/2022.

Justice Awogboro also directed both banks to allow the NDLEA to inspect and make Certified True Copies (CTC) of Account Opening Packages, Statements of accounts and any relevant documents in their custody.

This, the judge ruled on Friday, complied with Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2014, according to court processes seen by The Nation on Sunday.

The NDLEA sought the orders through its counsel, Umar Hussaini, who identified the affected accounts as 1001203139, 1010359483 belonging to Basil Okafor Onochie and his firm, Optional Business Bureau Limited, and numbers: 1001464228 belonging to Okwuchukwu Edwin Izuchukwu.

He also asked the court to direct a new generation bank to place a lien on account numbers 1008374573 belonging to Basil Okafor Onochie.

He said the order sought was for 90 days, within which the agency would have concluded its investigation.

Justice Awogboro held: “I have carefully perused the motion ex parte, supported with 18 paragraphs affidavit, written address and exhibits attached.

“I’m of the firm view and satisfied that the orders sought for deserved to be granted and same are accordingly granted.”

The NDLEA in an affidavit in support of the Summons ex parte, deposed to by its investigating narcotic officer Kareem Olayinka Musibau, stated that on March 28, 2022, its operatives arrested Onochie and Izuchukwu, at 26, Akpomuje Street, Isolo-Okota Area of Lagos State, in connection with the seizures Of 2.169 kilogrammes of heroin.

He alleged that both men were prominent transnational drug traffickers across the world, adding that following their arrest, the NDLEA is now investigating the level of their involvement in respect of the drug seizures.