Lagos socialite, Ariket, friend re-arraigned over alleged drug trafficking

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, yesterday, re-arraigned a Lagos socialite, Mrs. Funmilola Ogbuaya, popular known as Ariket, alongside her alleged convict friend, Odeyemi Omolola, who is currently serving 25 years jail-term, for drug trafficking.

The duo, also also known as Funmilola Ogundipe and Ariyo Olabisi, were rearraigned before Justice Deinde Dipeolu of a 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.

They were first arraigned before Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari (now a Court of Appeal Judge) sometimes in 2017, on a five count charge of conspiracy, aiding and abetting, unlawful possession of banned drug, and attempt to export the said banned drug to Saudi Arabia.

While the convict, Odeyemi Omolara, was arraigned on the charges of conspiracy, unlawful possession of banned drug, and attempt to export the said banned drug to Saudi Arabia, Ariket, was arraigned on the charges of conspiracy, aiding and abetting and procuring the convict for the popurse of trafficking the prohibited drug.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and were all admitted to bail on various terms by the court.

While the trial lasted, the convict informed the court of her intention to change her plea, which was granted by the court. And upon the re-reading of the charge, she pleaded guilty to the charge of attempt to illegally export the prohibited drug to Saudi-Arabia, and she was given sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.

Dissatisfied with the Justice Shagari’s judgment, the convict through her lawyer, appealed her conviction.

However, NDLEA through it’s lawyer, Abu Ibrahim, filed a counter to the appeal and urged the court to affirm the convict’s conviction.

Delivering judgment on the appeal, the three man-panel led by Justice Ebiowei Tobi, on February 26, 2021, dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit, while affirmed Justice Shagari’s judgment.

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However, almost eight years after their first arraignment, Ariket and her convict conspirator, Odeyemi Omolola, were rearraigned on fourt counts charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession of the prohibited drugs, aiding and abetting and procuring of the convict to possessed the drug, before Justice Deinde Dipeolu.

While the convict, Odeyemi Omolola, pleaded guilty to the charges, the socialite, Ariket, denied all the allegations and pleaded not guilty the charges.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, asked the court for the short date, to present the exhibit for the review of facts against the convict.

He also pleaded with the court to remand the socialite, Ariket, pending the hearing and determination of the charge

However, lawyer to the socialite, Yakubu Galadima, told the court that he had filed his client bail application and same has been served on the prosecutor, adding that he was just served with the prosecutor’s counter affidavit to the bail application.

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

Meanwhile, Justice Dipeolu, while acceding to Galadima’s request, released the socialite to him and adjourned till March 15, for hearing of the bail application.

Charges against the dou read: “That you Odeyemi Omolara a.k.a Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi, female, Adult of 27, Adebule Street, Off Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos State and Funmilola Arike Ogbuaya a.k.a Ariket, Funmilola Ogundipe on about February 23, 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.

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