Judiciary News

Tricyclist, Accomplice Bags 15-Year Prison Sentences for Marijuana Trafficking

A Federal High Court in Lagos has handed down a 15-year prison sentence to a 21-year-old tricyclist named Oroke Michael Chibueze and his accomplice, Eze Ifeanyi Remigius, for their involvement in trafficking 1,455 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa, commonly known as marijuana or “Igbo” in Yoruba language.

The judgment was delivered by Justice Garuba Tijjani after both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The two individuals were initially brought before the court, along with a 27-year-old woman named Eze Joy Chioma, in 2022. They were charged with three counts related to the unlawful possession and transportation of the illicit substance.

While Eze Joy Chioma and the first convict, Eze Ifeanyi Remigius, residing at 2, Oluokun Street, White House bus stop, off Abule Aka road, Okokomaiko, Lagos state, faced two counts of unlawful possession of 1,426 kilograms of marijuana concealed in 32 and a half bags found in their kitchen and rooms.

The tricyclist, on the other hand, was found guilty of unlawfully transporting 29 kilograms of cannabis sativa concealed inside his tricycle, locally known as Keke NAPEP. He had hidden the contraband behind St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Alaba, near Okokomaiko, Lagos State.

According to the prosecutor, Mr. Umar Hussain, their actions violated sections 20(c), 11(b), and 12 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as amended), and were punishable under the same Act.

Initially, all three defendants pleaded not guilty when arraigned. However, during the subsequent court session, the two male convicts expressed their desire to change their plea to guilty, while Eze Joy Chioma maintained her not guilty plea.

Upon this change in plea, the court permitted the prosecutor to present the facts of the case and present exhibits before adjourning for trial.

In delivering the judgment, Justice Ringim found the two male convicts guilty as charged. However, Dennis Warri, the defense lawyer for the convicts, pleaded for leniency, highlighting that his clients were first-time offenders with no prior criminal records.

Warri requested the court to consider imposing a fine instead of a custodial sentence.

After carefully considering the defense’s submission, Justice Ringim sentenced the tricyclist to five years in prison without the option of a fine. The second convict, Eze Ifeanyi Remigius, received a five-year sentence with the option to pay a fine of N1 million in count one and an additional five years in count three without the possibility of a fine.

The court ordered that both prison terms be served concurrently.

Meanwhile, the trial for Eze Joy Chioma has been scheduled for December 13th.

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