Trader bags 41-yr imprisonment for drug trafficking

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OrijoReporter.com, Okwudili Eboro

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, convicted and sentenced a 41 years old trader, Okwudili Eboro to 10 years imprisonment for drug trafficking.

Eboro is charged by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on one count bordering on the offence.

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He was arraigned in November 2012, and had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

However, at his re-arraignment on Thursday, he changed his plea and pleaded guilty to the charge.

In reviewing the facts of the case the prosecutor, Mr. Fingere Dinneys tendered various evidence before the court including a statement of the accused, a request for scientific aid form, a drug analysis form as well as a bulk exhibit.
In his statement made to the NDLEA, which was read in the open court, the convict said he was a trader at Lagos Island before his business suffered a collapse.

According to him, in the process of looking for help he came across an old friend, one Daniel, who promised to help him with the sum of 5000 dollars, if he could transport a bag of Methamphetamine to Indian.

“I decided to do it because my wife was pregnant at that time, and also had a high blood pressure,” his statement said.

Following his guilty plea, the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun convicted him as charged.

However, before his sentence, counsel to the accused, Mrs. Vivienne Ekwegh, urged the court to tamper justice with mercy.

She said that the accused was a first offender and urged the court to be lenient with his sentence.

Delivering judgment, Justice Olatoregun sentenced the accused to a term of 10 years imprisonment beginning from the date of his arrest.

She also ordered that the convict forfeits the sum of 2000 dollars recovered from him during his arrest, to the Federal Government.

The judge, however, gave the convict an option of N10 million fine.

In the charge, the convict was said to have been arrested in September 2012, at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, during the outward clearance of an Ethiopian Airline flight to Addis Abba.

The prosecutor had told the court that the convict, without lawful authority exported about 4.3kg of Methamphetamine, a drug similar to Cocaine and Heroin.

He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 11 (b) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

 

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