Barristers & Solicitors
Court jails two drug traffickers 10 years

The Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, sentenced two drug traffickers, Suleiman Tunde and Salami Babatunde, to 10 years imprisonment each for trafficking 25.10 kilograms of Ephedrine, a prohibited drug.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo handed down the sentence after the convicts pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and trafficking in the banned substance.

Meanwhile, another alleged drug trafficker who was arraigned alongside the convicts, Edet Matthew, denied the offence and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency prosecutor, Mr. Augustine Nwagu, told the court that the convicts and Matthew had conspired with one Maruf Olasunkanmi Akande, who is now at large, to commit the illegal offence on August 25, 2023.

He said the convicts were arrested with the drug, during an outward clearance of passengers of Rwandair flight to Johannesburg, South Africa at the boarding gate of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to Nwagu, the offences committed contravened sections 14(b) and 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Lawyers to the convicted drug traffickers, Chief Benson Ndakara and G. Okenyi, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing their clients.

The defence counsel prayed the court to consider the timely guilty plea of his clients as a sign of remorse and that their clients had promised not to engage in any form of crimes if given a second chance.

They particularly urged the court to consider non-custodian sentence and a fine option in lieu of the custodian sentence.

Justice Oweibo, in his judgment, sentenced each of the convicts to five years imprisonment on charges of conspiracy and drug trafficking.

The judge however awarded a fine option of N1m on each of the counts and ordered that the jail term should run concurrently while the fine option should be consecutively.

He further ordered that each of convicts should serve a five year jail-term or pay the fine of N2m.