A Lagos Federal High Court, Thursday, convicted and sentenced two drug dealers, Obinna Jacob Osita and Ohiagu Sunday, to eight years, and six months imprisonment for attempting to smuggle 4.25 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa popularly called Indian Hemp to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The court presided over by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, slammed the two convicts the jail terms after they both pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy, unlawful exportation and gratification, made against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
While Obinna Jacob Osita, was given four years each on the charge of conspiracy and unlawful export of the banned substance, his co-convicts, Ohiagu Sunday, was given four years, six months for the offences of conspiracy and gratification.
The two convicts, according to the NDLEA prosecutor, Mr Abu Ibrahim, were arrested with 4.25 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa substance, on August 23, 2022, at the entrance gate of the New Terminal Building of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, which they intend to smuggle to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Abu told the court that the second convict, during his arrest, offered financial gratification to the agency’s operatives.
He told the court that the offences committed by the convicts, contravened Sections 14 (b); 11 (b) and 49 (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004
The two convicts pleaded guilty to the charges when it was read to them.
Upon their guilty plea, the court asked the prosecutor to review the facts of the charge. And after reviewing the facts of the charges, the prosecutor urged the court to convict and sentence them in accordance to the sections of the law they were charged with.
However, lawyers to the convicts, Mr Uche Okoronkwo of Minerva Legal and Dennis Warri, pleaded with the court, to tamper justice with mercy.
The lawyer urged the court to consider the convicts’ timely plea of guilty to the charges. Adding that they have became remorseful and promised not engaged in crime any more if given second chance.
Uche particularly informed the Court that relying on Section 311(3) ACJA, the Court is mandated to take all necessary aggravating and mitigating evidence or information in respect of each convict that may guide it in deciding the nature and extent of sentence to pass on the convict.
Uche further informed the Court that it is trite that where the law creating an offence is silent on the option of fine in lieu of custodial sentence, the Court has the discretion to impose fine.
Justice Oweibo in his judgment after listened to the lawyers’ allucutor, sentenced the first convict, Obinna Jacob Osita, to four years in count one and two, while slammed the second convict, Ohiagu Sunday, four years and six months in count one and three respectively.
The judge, however, while ordered the the jail terms should run concurrently, ordered the first convict to pay the sum of N500, 000, consecutively on each of the counts, making N1 million and the second convict to pay the total sum of N510, 000, as an option of fine to the jail terms.Follow us on social media