A NIGERIAN national has been acquitted by a local court in an NDPS case here on Friday after nearly five years as the prosecution failed to establish his guilt. He was held with 30 grams of cocaine by the UT Police in 2012. The Nigerian, Godwin Ulo Awa (43), was acquitted by the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Dr Ajit Atri.
According to Chandigarh Police records, Godwin was arrested from the Industrial Area in December 2012 during a special naka laid near Chandigarh railway station. The police had stated that Godwin was held while coming by car. The police team had laid a trap near Chandigarh railway station and intercepted the car. While searching the vehicle, the cops found a packet containing 30 gm cocaine that reportedly cost nearly Rs 1 crore in the international market. Following this, the police booked the accused under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The sector police also impounded the Nigerian’s car, carrying a Chandigarh registration number, in which he was carrying the contraband.
Defence counsel Harish Bharadwaj, however, objected to the police version and said that Godwin had been falsely implicated in the NDPS case. Bharadwaj told court that according to the police, Godwin was held around 7 am on December 12, 2012, at a checkpost. However, the truth is that he was detained by the police at his residence in Mohali on the evening of December 11, 2012, for verification of his antecedents. The cops told his family that he was just being taken to the police station for verification, but later, he was falsely implicated in the cocaine case by the UT police.
The defence counsel also added that during the search at Godwin’s residence, the police had picked up Rs 80,000 cash and even took his car into custody. It was stated that no recovery was made and a case was planted on the Nigerian. Bharadwaj further stated that there was no compliance of Section 50 in the case over Godwin and the material documents could also not be proved in court following which Godwin was acquitted. The Nigerian remained in police custody for a month before being bailed out by the court, added Bharadwaj.
Godwin is now 43 years old and lives with his wife and two children in Mohali. He owns a business of garment export and import. Godwin’s wife is an Indian national who hails from Goa. Godwin’s wife teaches at a private school in Mohali while his daughter studies in Class XII and son in Class VIII.