Court Jails 3 For 5 Years For Cocaine Trafficking

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday convicted and sentenced three men, Okechukwu Nwachukwu, Osita Ilechukwu and Blessing Eluwa to five years imprisonment each for Cocaine trafficking.

The trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun handed down the verdict after founding the convicts guilty of three count charge of conspiracy, unlawful importation and trafficking of restricted narcotics brought against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convicts, who were arraigned in 2014, had pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were docked before the court.

In the charge, the convicts were said to have conspired to import 5.89 kg of Cocaine from Brazil into Nigeria.

The first convict (Okechukwu) was said to have induced the third convict (Eluwa) to convey the narcotic from Brazil to Nigeria.

According to the prosecution, Abu Ibrahim, the third convict was arrested during the inward clearance of passengers on board a Qatar Airline flight from Brazil.

Ibrahim said that the third convict was arrested while investigations led to the arrest of the other convicts.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of sections 11 (b) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004

The prosecution had opened trial in the suit on March 10, 2016 and he called11 witnesses and tendered a total of 21 document as exhibits before the court.

Prosecution closed its case on May 10, 2016

The defence on their part, testified for themselves while final addresses were adopted on Nov. 28, 2016.

While delivering her judgment on Monday, Justice Olatoregun found the accused guilty of the offence as charged.

The judge held, “I am satisfied that the three accused conspired in furtherance of the offence for which they are charged to court.

“On the whole I find that the prosecution succeeded in discharging the onus on it to establish it’s case; I find each of the accused guilty as charged and each is accordingly convicted.

“The three accused are first offenders, they must however be strongly deterred as there is no short cut to wealth.

“On count one, the accused are sentenced to a term of five years imprisonment each or an option of N5 million fine

“On count two, the second accused is sentenced to a term of five years imprisonment with an option of N5 million fine

“On count three, the third accused is sentenced to a term of five years imprisonment with an option of N5 million fine.

“The terms of imprisonment shall run consecutively while the fines are cumulative.

“The exhibit 5.89 kg of cocaine together with the substance in exhibit F1 are to be destroyed by men of the NDLEA within 90 days if there is no appeal against this judgment; the exhibits are not to be recycles,” she held.

Source


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