A 37-year-old Nigerian, Madu Chima, has been remanded in a prison in Uganda after he was caught with 320 grammes of cocaine worth 244.4 million Ugandan Shilling [ about N25,720,532.48].
According to NewVision, Madu was charged at the Anti-Corruption Court and remanded to Ssentema Government Prison alongside his accomplice, one Ibanda Abubakali, 31, a security guard.
The duo when they appeared before Grade One Magistrate Abert Asiimwe pleaded not guilty to charges of acquiring prohibited goods, trafficking in a narcotic drug or psychotropic substance and importing prohibited goods.
The duo also face charges of conspiracy to contravene a provision of the East African Community Customs Management Act and attempting to contravene a provision of the Narcotic Drugs Act.
According to the Act, any person who commits the offence is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine equal to fifty per cent of the dutiable value of the goods involved, or both.
Court heard that on August 6, 2020 at Makindye in Kampala, Madu Chima received a cocaine package from Ibanda Abubakali that was shipped by DHL Airway bill HAWB 2154260544 from Columbia via the United States of America, which package he knew or ought to have reasonably known to be prohibited.
The two were arrested after Ibanda received a call from DHL to pick the consignment but whose tracking number he did not know and had to get it from his friend ‘John’ who in this case is Madu Chima and as Ibanda was handing it over to Chima they were arrested.
However, both Ibanda and Chima Madu deny knowledge of the content they received and Chima further claims he was receiving the said package on behalf of his Nigerian friend, one Ozo, who failed to come for it due to COVID-19 restrictions.
According to court documents, Ibanda got to know Chima from the Post Office, where he works as a security guard.
Chima, according to the charge sheet, is a businessperson and a resident of Salama road, Makindye Division, in Kampala.
State Prosecutor Stuart Aheebwa, attached to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) informed the court that investigations in the matter are incomplete and asked the court to adjourn the case.
“I pray for a long adjournment to allow police to complete investigations,” he requested.
Aheebwa said he would use that time to acquire a report that will be used to pin the accused of the crime during the hearing of the case.
This prompted the magistrate to remand the accused and advised him to get sureties of Ugandan nationals in a bid to get bail.
The case was adjourned to August 25, 2020 for mention.
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