American remanded in KiriKiri prison for defrauding Nigerians of $565,000 as Brzilians convicted for importing 23.895 kilogrammes of cocaine to Nigeria By Innocent Anaba, Abdulwahab Abdulah & Jane Echewodo.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, convicted two Brazilians, Lima Pereira Diego, and Dias Dos Santos Marcia Cristina, for bringing into Nigeria 23.895 kilogrammes of cocaine.
Meanwhile, Justice Josephine Oyefeso of an Ikeja high court also remanded in Kirikiri Prison an American national, Marco Antonio Ramirez, for allegedly defrauding three Nigerians of $565,000.
Trial judge, Justice Cecilia Olatoregun, convicted the two Brazilians after they had pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against them by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA. The convicts were earlier arraigned before the court on April 26, on a three-count charge of conspiracy and unlawful importation of the said narcotic.
They, however, declined to take their plea, on the grounds that they do not have confidence in the interpreter, one Mr. Adeniran O., provided by their country’s diplomatic service.
Upon the objection raised against the interpreter and refusal to take their plea, the court had adjourned till yesterday, for re-arrangement and plea taking.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, told the court of the agency’s decision to withdraw the charge of conspiracy against the Brazilians. Consequently, they were arraigned on charge of unlawful importation of the said prohibited drug.
They pleaded guilty to the charges, following which the court ordered the prosecution to review the facts of the case. Following the pleading of their lawyer, the court adjourned till July 5 to pronounce sentence and ordered that they be remanded in Kirikiri Prison.
In the case of the Ameri-can, Justice Oyefeso ordered that Ramirez be remanded in prison.