NDLEA gets nod to destroy container filled with 381 bags of ‘explosives’

A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted an application by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to destroy a 1×20 feet container filled with 381 bags of Ammonium Nitrate, a chemical used in producing explosives.

Justice Ayokunle Faji gave the order following an ex parte application and an affidavit in support argued by the NDLEA’s lawyer, Mr Fingere Owen Dinneys.

He approved the agency’s request to destroy the chemical by burning it in a public place.

Dinneys had told the judge that the chemical was imported into Nigeria from Columbia in 2020 by unknown persons.

Relying on the 20-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Olayinka Kareem, he said the agency got wind of the container following intelligence from the then Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) of the United Kingdom now National Crime Agency (NCA), UK.

The NDLEA then intercepted the container, marked CLHU 2971347, (1x20ft) via ex-vessel SAMARIA from Barranquilla, Columbia, on September 27, 2010, at Apapa Port, Lagos.

It was registered as being destined for ZAKIGREEN Agro Industry Ltd, of 39/41, Great Nigeria Plaza, Martins Street, Lagos Island.

381 bags of brown powdery substance suspected to be hard drug was found in it.

But forensic analysis of samples of the substance proved positive for ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in producing explosives.

A search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that ZAKIGREEN Agro Industry Ltd and its said address were fictitious and did not exist.

Dinneys drew the court’s attention that the recent explosion that claimed scores of lives and property in Lebanon was caused by Ammonium Nitrate stored in a warehouse for a long time.

He told the court that the lives of the agency’s officers and other residents of the Ikoyi area where the NDLEA office is located are in grave danger if the “dangerous chemical” was not immediately destroyed.

Justice Faji granted the application, adding that the burning must be done in the presence of senior staff of the court.

The judge adjourned till March 3 for a report of compliance.

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