Justice Tijjani Garuba Ringim, sitting at the Lagos Federal High Court, Wednesday, convicted and sentenced a father of three, Olatunji Emmanuel, to 20 years imprisonment, for dealing in 2.10 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa, popularly called Indian Hemp.
The court passed the verdict, after the prosecutor, Mr Abu Ibrahim, reviewed the facts of the two counts charge of unlawful dealing in the banned weed, preferred against the convict by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
- NYSC controversy: Court clears ex-Finance Minster Kemi Adeosun
- Senate approves Buhari’s N2.3 trillion loan request
The convict had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge when he was arraigned before the court sometime last month and still maintained his stance today, before the review of the charge against him.
In reviewing the facts of the charge, the prosecutor also tendered some exhibits which include a certificate of test analysis; packing of substance form; a large brown envelope housing sample of drug analysis report; convict’s two confessional statements and the bulk of the seized banned weed.
After the review of the fact of the charge, the prosecutor urged the court to sentence the convict as prescribed by Section 11(c) and 19 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
But the convict’s counsel, Mr Oke Ojakovo, in his allocutor, urged the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the accused, saying that he had become remorseful since he was arrested and promised not to engage in the criminal act.
Oke told the court that the convict is a father of three kids and the only breadwinner of the family.
In his judgment, Justice Ringim, after considering the submissions of both counsels, sentenced the convict to five years on count one and 15 years on count two.
The judge, however, gave the fine option of N120, 000, in lieu of a jail term.
The judge also directed the NDLEA to destroy the seized drug by burning it if there is no appeal against the judgment.