A Federal High Court, Lagos, today, sentenced a 63 year-old man, Hassan Nurudeen Aremu, to four years imprisonment, for trafficking in 2.66 kilograms of Cocaine.
Justice M. A. Onyetenu, convicted Aremu after the prosecuting agency, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) reviewed the facts of the case, and he pleaded guilty to the three counts charge against him.
The convict was arraigned before the court yesterday, Thursday, on charges bordering unlawful possession and export of the banned drug and conspiracy.
The NDLEA through its prosecutor, Mrs. Juliana Imaobong Iroabuchi, had on Thursday, told the court that the convict, who was 62 years old when arrested on December 27, 2018, at the Gate ‘C’ of the departure hall, general check-in counter of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, with 2.66 kilograms of cocaine his in a brown traveling bag.
Juliana had also told the court that the convict had on December 15, 2018, in a hotel on Lagos Island conspired with the dou of one Joseph and Lukman, who are now at large, to commit the act, after which he was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, while trying to board an Ethiopia Airline flight to India, with the drug.
She also told the court that the offences committed by the convict, contravened sections 11(d), 11(b) and 14(b) of the NDLEA Act Cap. N30, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under the same Act.
The convict had pleaded guilty to the charge and the judge had also adjourned the matter till today, for review of fact of the matter and judgement.
At the resumed of the case today, in reviewing that fact of the matter, the prosecutor, Juliana, tendered the seized drug, the convict’s international passport and confessional statements, test analysis of the seized drug and others items, which were admitted by the court as exhibits.
After tendering and admitting the exhibits, the prosecutor urged the clue to pronounce the convict guilty as charged and coupled with his guilty plea and sentence him as prescribed by the NDLEA Act.
However, the convict’s counsel, Oluchukwu O., and a lawyer, who claimed to be friend of the court, Chinelo Uchendu, of Legal Advocacy Response to Drug Initiatives (LARDI) pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing the convict.
The convict’s counsel, Oluchukwu, particularly told the court to consider his client’s health status, as he is sick, in sentencing.
The convict, in his allocutor, told the court that he went into drug business because his Liberian wife divorced him and his only son also died, as there was no one to come to assist him.
He therefore urged the court to have mercy on him.
The prosecutor, Juliana, urged the court to disregard the excuse of sickness made by the counsel as there was no medical report before the court to support the claim.
In her judgement, Justice Onyetenu, after admonished the convict of not to engage in drug trafficking, sentence him to four years imprisonment.