Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos has convicted and sentenced a 41-year-old drug trafficker, Ibeh Damian, to two years imprisonment for smuggling 3.20 kilograms of cocaine into Nigeria.
Justice Aluko sent Ibeh to prison after he pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of unlawful importation of the banned drug brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The prosecutor, Augustine Nwagu had told the judge that the convict was arrested with the drug, on September 26 after arriving from Brazil, during the inward clearance of passengers on Qatar airways.
Nwagu had also told the court that the offence contravened section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
While reviewing the facts of the case, the lawyer claimed that the convict in his confessional statement stated that he had once committed the crime in the past and he paid N4 million.
But the defence counsel, Anthony Nnamoko, pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy, stating that his client had turned a new leaf since he was arrested on September 26 and that he had promised not to engage in the illegal act in the future.
Nnamoko also told the court that the convict got involved in the crime because he got ‘broke’ and there was no one to assist him to return to the country from Brazil.
He therefore pleaded with the court to impose a fine on the defendant instead of a custodial sentence.
In his judgment, Justice Aluko sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment without an option of a fine.
The judge also ordered that the convict’s international passport be forfeited by the federal government, adding that the drug recovered from him be destroyed by the agency if there was no appeal against the judgment within the period stipulated by the law.