Cocaine pushers bag 20-year imprisonment, without option of fine

Cocaine wraps

The convicts were arrested at eh Lagos Airport in 2011.

Justice Okechukwu Okeke of a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, on Friday convicted and sentenced two cocaine traffickers, Gabriel Obi and Godfrey Ugwu, to 20 years imprisonment each, over illicit drug deals in Lagos.

Justice Okeke held that the prosecution had discharged its burden of proof by proving its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“I do not believe the testimonies of the accused, when they alleged that they were business associates. The accused did not lead any evidence to substantiate the claims that they were actually partners doing genuine business.

“The accused are hereby convicted as charged.

“On count one, the accused are sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, while on counts two they are sentenced to five years imprisonment. The terms of imprisonment are to run concurrently,” Mr. Okeke ruled.

Justice Okeke added that the sentence of the first convict, Mr. Obi, would start running from the date of conviction, while he ordered the sentence of Mr. Ugwu to start running from March 3, 2011 when they were first arraigned.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arraigned the convicts, on a two-count charge of unlawful importation of 165 Kilogrammes of Cocaine from Bolivia into Nigeria.

The Agency arraigned the convicts on March 3, 2011, before the court. They were arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport by the NDLEA, in January 2011, during clearance of passengers and the drugs recovered from them.

The prosecution called 13 witnesses and tendered 41 exhibits, while the convicts testified for themselves during the trial.

The offences contravene the provisions of Section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.

It attracts a term of life imprisonment.

(NAN)


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