Court sentences two Marijuana merchants to 15-year imprisonment
For unlawful dealing in 247 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa, popularly known as marijuana, a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, yesterday, convicted and sentenced two middle aged men, Saliu Wasiu and Afolabi Banjo to 15-year imprisonment.
Justice Akintayo Aluko sentenced them after they pleaded guilty to a three-count charge filed against them by the operative of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Saliu and Afolabi were charged for conspiracy and unlawful dealing in the banned weed following their arrest on June 5, 2023, at Ebute-Metta area of Lagos State.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Lambert Nor, told the court that they illegally used their houses, to warehouse the prohibited weeds.
He said their offences contravened the provision of Sections 14(b) and 11(c) of the NDLEA Act Cap N.30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 12 of the same Act.
After they pleaded guilty to the charges, the prosecutor urged the court to convict them in relation to the sections of the law they were charged with.
But their counsel, Mr. Prosper Oke Ojakovo, in his plea of mercy, prayed the court to be lenient in sentencing his clients, as he pleaded that they were first offender.
He also urged the court to consider timely plea of guilty by the defendant, saying that they did not waste the court’s time.
He added that his clients were remorseful and promised not to go back or be involved in any criminality. He also prayed the court to give his clients an option of fine in lieu of custodian sentence.
Justice Aluko, in his judgment after considered counsel submissions and mitigating factors, sentenced each of the convicts to five years imprisonment on each of the counts.
He, therefore, gave them fine option of N1.5m on each of the counts.
The judge, however, ordered that both sentences and the fine option should run concurrently.
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