Legal Nigeria

Businessman jailed three years for trafficking 7.50 kg of drugs

A Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a 28-year-old businessman, Peter Ugwu, to three years imprisonment for trafficking 7.50 kg of drugs.

The convict was re-arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on an amended nine-count charge of drug trafficking.

He was first arraigned on Dec. 5, 2023, and had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The defendant, however, subsequently opted to change his plea to guilty and he was re-arraigned on Jan. 19.

He was again re-arraigned on June 6, following amendment of the charge by the prosecution, and he again, pleaded guilty to the charge.

Following his plea, the prosecutor Mrs Juliana Iroabuchi, reviewed the facts of the case through a witness, Angela Mba, and tendered 18 exhibits in support of prosecution’s case.

She then urged the court to proceed and convict the defendant based on his plea and the evidences tendered by the prosecution.

In his verdict, Justice Ambrose Allagoa found the defendant guilty of the offence, and convicted him as charged .

After a plea for leniency on behalf of the convict by his counsel, Mr Dennis Wari, the court sentenced the convict to a term of three years imprisonment on each of the counts.

The court held that the terms shall run concurrently.

The court also ordered a destruction of the narcotics recovered from the convict, by the NDLEA

According to the charge, the convict, a resident of Muscat Oman, committed the offence on Sept. 12, 2023, alongside one Ifeanyi who is at large.

He was apprehended at the departure hall, terminal II of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, during the outward clearance of passengers onboard a Qatar Airline flight to Doha.

He was said to have exported 7.50 kg of hemp, which he concealed in a black nylon bag covered with crayfish and bittterleaf.

The convict was also said to have withdrawn the sum of over N306,000 from his Access bank account, through a POS, while still in detention.

He was said to have done so, to avoid forefeiting same to the federal government.

The offence contravenes the provisions of section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Law of the Federative 2004.

It also contravenes the provisions of section 18(a)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2022.