27- Year Old Woman, 3 Men Convicted For Drug Trafficking
A Federal High Court, Lagos has convicted a 27 year-old woman, Opoola Mujidat, and three men, for trafficking banned substance.
The three men that were convicted alongside the woman, by the court presided over by Justice Daniel Osiagor were: 21 years old man, Alegbeleye Taiwo Emmanuel and the duo of Chidi Onyeaghala and Cyril Chukwu Obi.
All the convicts were arraigned before the court on separate charges, by the men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The prosecutors, Mr. Augustine Nwagu, J. M. Mamza and M. I. Erondu, while arraigning the convicts told the court that the convicted woman, Mujidat, was arrested with 3000 grams of Cannabis Sativa, popularly called Indian hemp, on July 11, 2020, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight to Oman.
The prosecutors also told the court that the 21 years old That you Alegbeleye Taiwo Emmanuel, male, 21, was arrested on June 24, 2022, during the outward clearance of passengers on Qatar Airways flight to Dubai at Gate “C” of the Departure Hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, with 114 grams of a banned drug, known as Pentazocine Injection, a psychotropic substance, which he intended to smuggle to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The prosecutors, further told the court that the duo of Chidi Onyeaghala and Cyril Chukwu Obi were arrested on May 31, 2022, at Private Square Hotel Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos State, with 1.6 kilograms of Methamphetamine.
The prosecutors told the court that the offences committed by the woman and the three men, contravened Sections 11(b); 20(1)(a) and 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. And punishable under section 20(2)(a) of the same Act.
All the convicts pleaded guilty to the charges against them.
In view of the guilty plea, the prosecutors separately reviewed the facts of the offences as well, tendered some exhibits which include, the convicts’ confessional statements; the seized drugs; two international passports for the woman and Elegbeleye, respectively; certificate of laboratory test analysis reports and others, which were admitted by the court as exhibits.
After the review of the facts of the charges against the convicts, the prosecutors urged the court to convict and sentence them in accordance with the sections of the laws that they were charged with.
However, counsel to the convicts, Chief Lilian Omotunde, in her allocutus, pleaded with court to justice with mercy in sentencing her clients.
The counsel particularly told the court that her clients are first time offenders, who have became remorseful since they were arrested. And that they pleaded guilty to the charges, without wasting precious time of the court.
She pleaded with the court to consider the option of fine in lieu of the custodian sentence.
Justice Osiagor after listening to the counsel submissions, sentenced the woman, Mujidat to two years Imprisonment, while the duo of Chidi Onyeaghala and Cyril Chukwu Obi were sentenced to seven years imprisonment each, and the 21 year old Elegbeleye was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
However, the convicts were given fine options of N20, 000; N250, 000 and N100, 000 respectively, in lieu of the jail terms.