Mechanic jailed three months without fine for possession of Indian hemp

Indian hemp farm []
Indian hemp farm []

The convict pleaded guilty to the crime.

The Federal High Court 2 in Jos on Thursday sentenced a 23-year-old mechanic, Bashir Atiku, to three months imprisonment over illegal possession of Indian hemp.

The court, however, did not give the convict an option of fine, but ordered that his jail term should commence from the day of his arrest.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Ayo Emmanuel said the prosecution had convinced the court beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had committed the offence.

Mr. Emmanuel said that the evidence tendered before the court by the prosecutor had assisted the court to convict the accused.

“The court has also relied on the confessional statement of the accused to convict him. The court has no option, but to convict the accused based on the strength of his plea,” the judge said.

Earlier, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) prosecuting counsel, Mike Kassa, had told the court that the accused was arrested at Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau with the substance.

“The convict was arrested on May 11, at about 10 p.m. while in possession of the illicit substance. The accused illegally possessed 50 grammes of cannabis sativa and was peddling it to innocent young men in his area,” he said

Mr. Kassa said that the convict was arrested after a “tip off” from some of his neighbours who had been observing him committing the offence.

The prosecutor tendered a certificate of test analysis of the substance, certificate of parking of substance, the statement of the accused and the recovered cannabis sativa as exhibits. He said that the accused had committed an offence contrary to section 19, sub-section 30 of the NDLEA Law as amended in 2004.

The court accepted the exhibits and marked them as exhibit A1, A2, A3, A4 and asked the accused whether he had objection against the exhibits.

When the case came up for hearing, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency.

The judge warned the convict to desist from the bad habit of selling cannabis sativa after his jail term as the court would not be lenient on him in future if he appeared before it with similar offence.


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