Clearing agent bags 30 years jail term for importing cannabis
A Federal High Court, Lagos, has sentenced a clearing and forwarding agent, Napoleon Osariemen, to 30 years imprisonment for unlawful importation of two kilogrammes of Cannabis sativa popularly called marijuana.
Justice Ayokunle Faji sentenced the convict after finding him guilty of the charge filed by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The judge also ordered that the company used in smuggling the banned substance be wound up and be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The third defendant in the charge, 37–year- old Olasupo Olakemi, was discharged and acquitted, on the ground that she cannot be linked with the offence made against him by NDLEA.
The judge held that the prosecution has successfully proved the two- counts charge against the convict, after listening to the arguments canvassed by the prosecutor and the defence counsel.
Napoleon Osariemen, his company, NAPOSA Cargo Logistics Investment Limited and a female, Olasupo Olakemi, were slammed with two-count charges of conspiracy to unlawfully import two kilogrammes of cannabis sativa and unlawful importation of the same banned weed.
They were first arraigned before the court in a charge FHC/L/475c/2016, sometime in 2016.
NDLEA had alleged the convicts were said to have some time in October 8, 2016, at NAHCO Import Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, without lawful authority, conspired among yourselves; with one Tony Adele, a.k.a Mr. James and Mr. Gbenga, of 1161, Weston Road, Toronto, Canada, M9N, 3P8, being a Consignor of the goods, to import, dispatch and deliver two kilogrammes of cannabis Sativa.
Also, on October 7, 2016, during the examination of cargo at NAHCO import Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, without lawful authority, conspired with one Tony Adele, a.k.a Mr. James and Mr. Gbenga, and the duo of James Chukwu and James Okorodafor Ike (both Customs Licensed Clearing Agents at the NAHCO import shed) to import two kilogrammes of Cannabis sativa.
The offences are contrary to Sections 14(b) and 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
They had all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail in various terms.
During the trial, the prosecutor, Mr. Ogwubor I. J., called 10 witnesses and tendered several exhibits, which include the convict’s confessional statement, bulk of the seized drug, results of laboratory tests and others.