Businessman bags 10 years in prison for cocaine trafficking



A FEDERAL High Court in Lagos on yesterday sentenced a 38-year-old man, Chibueze Onedigbo, to 10 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Oneigbo, a businessman, was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on a one-count charge of drug trafficking on August 29, 2013.

Justice Musa Kurya, in his judgment, said that the sentence was in line with the sentencing guideline recently released for Federal High Court judges.

“I have considered all the above, and I am of the view that the prosecution has discharged its burden of proof.”

“I have listened to the plea for leniency by the accused, and have taken into consideration all that has been said. In any case, the court is duty-bound to sentence the accused having found him guilty.

“Moreso, the court is guided by the sentencing guideline recently released for Federal High Court judges.”

“Consequently, I hereby sentence the accused to 10 years imprisonment, from the day of this judgment.”

“The drug exhibits in custody of the NDLEA are to be destroyed within 30 days, if there is no appeal against this judgment,’’ he said.

The convict had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail in the sum of N5 million with one surety in like sum.

The NDLEA Prosecutor, Mr Linus Nor, had told the court that the convict was arrested on April 7, 2013, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

Nor said that about 210 grammes of cocaine was recovered from the convict during the outward clearance of passengers on board a Qatar airline flight.

He said that the convict had concealed the drug substance in a black leather bag and was thereafter handed over to the agency for prosecution.

According to him, the offence contravenes the provisions of Sections 11 (b) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offence of drug trafficking could attract up to a term of life imprisonment if found guilty.

The NDLEA called two witnesses to prove its case against the convict.

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