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Man earns 10-year jail term over illicit drug deal

A Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday sentenced and convicted a 35-year- old Cote d’Ivoire-based Nigerian, Grou Bi Clauvis, also known as Umeme Fabian Lotachukwu, to 10 years of mprisonment for unlawfully dealing in 1.205 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, a prohibited drug.

The trial judge, Mojisola Olatoregun, convicted and sentenced the convict, after he pleaded guilty to one-count charge of unlawfully dealing in narcotic levelled against him by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convict was arrested by the anti-narcotics agency on March 27, 2017, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, during an outward clearance of passengers on Qatar Airways flight to Doha, Qatar, with 1.205 kilogrammes of methamphetamine.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, are contrary to and punishable under section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act. Cap. N30, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.

At the resumed trial of the matter yesterday, the convict maintained his guilty plea.

Consequently, Justice Olatoregun ordered the prosecutor to review the fact of the matter.

In reviewing the fact of the case, the prosecutor told the court how the convict was arrested with a Cote d’Ivoire international passport with the said substance and $400.

The prosecutor also tendered before the court the results of test analysis on the drugs, his confessional statements and sample of the drug and all were admitted in exhibits.

After reviewing the fact of the case and admitting the exhibits, the prosecutor urged the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

But counsel to the convict, Mr. Prosper Ojakovo, pleaded with the court to be lenient in sentencing his client, as “he is a first -time offender” and promised not to engage in such act if granted second chance.

In sentencing the convict, the presiding judge said: “I have taken into consideration that the convict is a first-time offender, and also a young man.

“I am mindful of Section 11 of the NDLEA Act, which is mandatory, but I am going to vary it. It is of the public knowledge that the prison is full and he is a young man.

“The convict is, hereby, sentenced to 10 years jail term or option of N10 million.”

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