Release Seized Passport, Court Orders NDLEA


A federal high court sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, has restrained the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and its agents from forcefully occupying the living apartment and premises of a housewife, Mrs. Nkiwe Uzoka.

The court also declared that the seizure of Mrs. Uzoka passport was unlawful, unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void.

The order of the court was sequel to an application filed and argued before the court by Barrister Benson Ndakara on behalf of Mrs. Nkiru Uzoka.

In an affidavit sworn to by Mrs. Uzoka, she averred that on the 3 February, 2012, she was in her house at House 8, W Close, 3rd Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos, when the operatives of the NDLEA came to her house with one Ubachukwu and she was told they wanted to conduct a search, she did not object. They conducted a search in the entire building and nothing incriminating was found.

However, on the 4 February, 2012, another set of officers came back to the house and conducted another round of search and still, nothing incrimination was found. Nevertheless, she was taken to NACHO office at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, on the 5 February, 2012. She was released on bail but before then, her Honda CRV car was taken away as one of the condition for her release.

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On getting back to her house, she discovered that the whole place was occupied by officers of the NDLEA. Consequently, she was sharing the house and its facilities and everything in the house with the NDLEA officers.

They demanded for food, water and beddings and she was told how to conduct herself in her own house and at times some of the officers get drunk and harass her.

Consequently, she was afraid that she might be raped if they are not removed, especially when they are armed. She is also afraid of a deliberate or accidental discharge if they are not removed or ejected.

After listening to the argument of Chief Benson Ndakara, the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Liman, restrained the NDLEA and its agent from further forceful occupation of the property as well as ordering the anti-drug agency to release the plaintiff’s dual passport.

—Akin Kuponiyi

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