Court Summons NDLEA Officials Over N3.7m Bribery Allegation

The Federal High Court in Lagos has called upon prominent NDLEA representatives after Mrs. Fatima Hassan, a prisoner, alleged that she had been given N3.7 million in exchange for leniency.

Justice Akintayo Aluko called upon Umar Isa Adoro, Lagos State Commander of the Agency, Chief Superintendent of Narcotics Quatu Mohammed from Squad A, and Officer Sanni to answer to the accusation.

Mrs. Hassan, a parent of three, claimed that Sanni, the IPO in her case, had extorted the sum of N3.7 million from her family.

She claimed to be held by the NDLEA for purportedly engaging in an unlawful activity involving Cannabis Sativa, more commonly known as Indian Hemp.

Sanni asked for the money, claiming that it would help her to get bail for a drug-related offence. However, bail was not granted and the sum was never returned.

The court was informed that out of the total sum, the NDLEA deemed N2.7 million as proceeds of crime and retained N1 million.

Allegations of a criminal nature were presented against Hassan during the trial at Federal High Court, case no. FHC/L/CS/290C/2022 under Justice Aluko.

She was arraigned on a single charge of illegal dealing in 33.5 kg of Cannabis Sativa, which is an offense stated in Section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act.

Hassan admitted his guilt and was found guilty.

When investigating the case, prosecution counsel LN. Nor wanted to submit eight pieces of evidence, one of which is a quantity of N2.5 million in one thousand naira notes, suggested to be criminal funds.

Defence counsel O. Ojakovo put forth a request for the return of N3.7m to the convict’s kin.

Ojakovo declared that the monetary exhibit was not recovered from Defendant, and the Agency’s officer informed their relations they must raise N2.5 million for Defendant to be given bail.

The family of the Defendant borrowed a sum of N3.7 million and is still paying it back. They initially received that amount, not the smaller N2.5 million figure.

The officer, Mr. Sanni, told us that he only had N2.5 million with him and we agreed. We thought it would be cruel to consider the amount as proceeds of a criminal act.

We will initiate the process for the refund of the funds to the family of the Defendant.

He stated that PW1 testified to the N2.5 million being a product of drug dealing – as per Sections 31, 32, 33, and 34 of the NDLEA Act – and having been brought to avert justice, which is illegal under Section 39 of said Act. Therefore, it is a key element of the charge-related evidence and consequently should be accepted by the Court.

Upon being questioned in court, PW1 stated that on 6/6/23, Quatu Mohammed (CSN) had presented them with a sum of money that was linked to the Defendant’s case. This was all that they knew concerning this matter.

Justice Aluko inquired about the money from Mrs. Hassan.

Hassan informed that the officer requested N3.7 million to grant him bail, and despite his family providing the full amount, he is still in custody. He added that his relatives are currently in Court.

During the cross-examination by the prosecution, she reiterated her claim.

Counsel for the defence: Hassan declared that Officer Sanni requested his family to provide the funds for his bond.

Prosecuting Counsel: Did you or your relatives inform a supervisor or the Police about the incident?

Bamidele Ogunkoya, Hassan’s other half, confirmed support of her under penalty of perjury.

Officer Sanni informed the other three officers that the amount of money was N2.5 million and he gave the Commander only that sum. Umar Adoro then read the charge and decided he had no power to release the Defendant, prompting him to tell us we should go and meet in court. From then on Sanni has been unresponsive to my calls.

Justice Aluko agreed with the prosecution’s case and allowed the money to be used as evidence.

He carried on to say that proceedings would continue in examining how the money had been placed in the keeping of the Agency, then reinforcing that it could be used as evidence.

The judge handed Mrs. Hassan a four-year prison sentence for the single count charge, with the option of paying a N1 million fine.

He declared that the sentence shall take effect from the date of arrest. Furthermore, a fine will be imposed and for one month, the convict must serve their community by picking up rubbish, sweeping, and draining for 1 hour daily, twice a week for 4 weeks. In addition, they will have to provide a guarantor who can show proof that they have not absconded from their duties.



Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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