The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the prison remand of two Brazilians, Lima Pereira Diego and Dias Dos Santos Marcia Cristina, who were accused of importing 23.895 kilograms of cocaine into the country.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that Diego and Christina should be remanded in the prison custody shortly after they were arraigned on three counts by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The NDLEA, in the charges, alleged that the Brazilians were apprehended with the illicit substance on April 18, 2017 at the Muhammad International Airport, Lagos during the inward clearance of passengers on an Emirates Airlines flight from Brazil to Lagos.
The anti-narcotic agency said Diego was found in possession of 14.495kg of cocaine while Cristina was found with 9.4kg of the substance.
The prosecution alleged that the Brazilians conspired with one Benson Abiodun and others at large to bring the said banned drug into the country.
The prosecuting counsel for the NDLEA, Abu Ibrahim, said the defendants acted contrary to sections 14(b), 11(a) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and were liable to be punished under the same law.
The charges were read to the Brazilians and interpreted to them by one Mr. O. Adeniran, provided by the Brazilian embassy.
Following their plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in the prison custody pending trial.
But the defence counsel, Mr. O. G. Oyeleke (SAN) and Niyi Onifade, told the court that they doubted the competence of the interpreter and urged the court to allow them to find another interpreter, whose competence they would trust.
But the prosecutor objected, saying the interpreter should be provided by the court.
In a short ruling, Justice Olatoregun granted the prayer of the defence counsel to provide an interpreter of their choice but said the interpreter from the Brazilian embassy, Adeniran, should also be in court on May 15, 2017 when the plea of the defendants would be taken afresh.
The judge ordered that the defendants should be remanded in the prison custody.