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Court Jails Cocaine Trafficker 20 Years, Seizes $1,000

Scale of Justice

Justice John Tsoho of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday sentenced one Ifenna Emmanuel to a jail term of 20 years for attempting to export 1.2 kilogrammes of cocaine to China.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sum of $1,000 recovered from the convict to the Federal Government.

He ordered the withdrawal of the convict’s passport by the issuing authority and ordered the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to destroy the drug exhibit recovered from him, if the judgment was not appealed within 90 days.

Emmanuel had been apprehended on July 1, 2012 by operatives of the NDLEA among China-bound passengers at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

He was subsequently arraigned on one count on December 18, 2012, but pleaded not guilty to the offence and was admitted to bail.

He, however, jumped the bail and absconded to Port Harcourt but was re-arrested by the NDLEA through his brother who stood surety for him.

Delivering judgment on Tuesday at the end of a summary trial, Justice Tsoho rejected a medical report presented by the convict, praying for court’s leniency on the grounds of ill health.

The judge noted that the convict only started complaining of stomach pain after his bail was revoked.

He described as suspicious the medical report tendered by the defence, because, even though the convict had earlier complained of abdominal pain, which obviously prevented him from walking freely, the Ikoyi Prisons authorities had not complied with an order to issue a medical issue on the convict’s state of health.

The judge said the fact that the convict jumped bail, and was paid in dollars for the cocaine trafficking, showed that he deserved no mercy despite claims that he had “a history of severe upper abdominal pain.”

The judge said the law was bound to take its course.

He, however, sentenced Emmanuel to 20 years imprisonment instead of the life sentence stipulated for the offence by “Section 11 paragraph of the NDLEA Act.”

He said the prison term would commence from July 1, 2012, when the convict was arrested.

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