Lagos, Nigeria: Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari of a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced a businessman, Nwosu Chinedu Joseph to four years imprisonment over unlawful importation of 1.295 kilograms of Cocaine.
The convict was charged before the court by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on a count-charge of unlawful importation of the said banned drug.
The NDLEA in charge with number FHC/L/482c/2016, stated that the convict had on October 30, 2016, during inward clearance of Royal Air Morocs flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Lagos via Casablanca, at “D” Arrival Hall of Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, without lawful authority Imported 1.295 kilograms of Cocaine.
The offence, the NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Augustine Nwagu, said contravened section 11(a) of the NDLEA Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under the same Act.
The convict had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge, when he was first arraigned before the court. And was also admitted to bail by the court.
However, at the resumed continuation of trial today, the convict voluntarily and willingly informed the court of his intention to change his plea.
Upon the changing of plea by the convict, the court called on the prosecutor, Mr. Nwagu, to give the facts of the case. And the prosecutor told the court, how he was arrested with the banned substance.
After, reviewing the fact of the case, prosecutor urged the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
However, lawyer to the convict, Chief Benson Ndakara, in his allocutor, pleaded with the court to tamper Justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Delivering judgement in the case, the presiding judge, Justice Shagari held that the prosecution had succeeded in proofing the case against the convict beyond reasonable doubt.
Consequently, Justice Shagari sentenced the convict to 48 months imprisonment starting from today.
In alternative, the judge fined him N3 million, while ordered that the banned drug be destroyed by the anti-narcotic agency, if there is no any appeal against the judgement after 30 days.