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Alleged Drug Trafficking: NDLEA Re-Arraigns Lagos Socialite Ariket, One Other

In 2017, the duo were first arraigned before Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari (who has now being elevated to the Court of Appeal).


FILES: A personnel of the NDLEA

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has re-arraigned a Lagos socialite, Mrs. Funmilola Arike Ogundipe, popularly known as Ariket for alleged drug trafficking.

She was arraigned alongside her friend and alleged co-conspirator, Odeyemi Omolara, who is currently serving a 25-year jail-term, for drug trafficking.

They took their plea before Justice Deinde Dipeolu of the Federal High Court, Lagos on a four-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession, aiding and abetting and attempt to smuggle 1.595 kilograms of cocaine to Saudi Arabia.

In 2017, the duo were first arraigned before Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari (who has now being elevated to the Court of Appeal).

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At the time, they both pleaded not guilty to a 5-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession of banned drug, and attempt to export the said banned drug to Saudi Arabia. The court then admitted them to bail.

During the trial, one of the defendants, Odeyemi Omolara also known as Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi opted to change her plea from not guilty to guilty. When the charge was re-read to her, she subsequently pleaded guilty to attempting to illegally export the prohibited drug to Saudi Arabia, and the court sentenced her to 25 years imprisonment.

Dissatisfied with Justice Shagari’s judgment, the convict through her lawyer, appealed her conviction. A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal also upheld the sentence and dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.

Today’s re-arraignment is coming almost 8 years after they were first arraigned.

At the proceedings on Tuesday, the convict, Odeyemi Omolara, pleaded guilty to the counts against her while Lagos socialite, Ariket, denied all the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, asked the court for a short date, to present the exhibits for the review of facts against the first defendant who pleaded guilty.

The prosecutor also pleaded with the court to order the remand of the socialite, Ariket, pending the hearing and determination of the charge.

Lawyer to the socialite, Yakubu Galadima, however, told the court that he had filed his client’s bail application and the same has been served on the prosecutor. He added that he had just been served with the prosecutor’s counter affidavit to the bail application.

Galadima also pleaded with the court to release the socialite to him pending the hearing and determination of the bail application.

Justice Dipeolu granted Galadima’s request. He ordered the release of the socialite to the counsel who would produce her in court at the next sitting. He subsequently adjourned till March 15, for a hearing of the bail application.

The Charge against the duo reads:

“That you (1) Odeyemi Omolara a.k.a Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi, Female, Adult of No. 27 Adebule Street, Off Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos State and (2) Funmilola Arike Ogbuaya a.k.a Ariket, Funmilola Ogundipe on about the 23rd February 2017 conspired to export 1.595 kilogrammes of Cocaine, a Narcotic Drug and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you Funmilola Arike Ogbuaya a.k.a Ariket, Funmilola Ogundipe on or about the 24th February 2017 aided one Odeyemi Omolara a.k.a Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi to Export 1.595 kilogrammes of Cocaine, a Narcotic Drug and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you Funmilola Arike Ogbuaya a.k.a Ariket, Funmilola Ogundipe on or about the 24 February 2017 procured one Odeyemi Omolara a.k.a Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi to Export 1.595 kilogrammes of Cocaine, a Narcotic Drug and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you Odeyemi Omolara a.k.a Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi, Female, Adult _ of No. 27 Adebule Street, Off Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos State on or about the 24” February 2017 without Lawful Authority knowingly possessed 1.595 kilogrammes of Cocaine, a Narcotic Drug and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the National Drug Law Enforcement agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”