A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced a 42-year-old man, Chris Ani, to a term of four years imprisonment for trafficking 380g of Cocaine. Ani was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) before Justice Ayokunle Faji on a charge of drug trafficking.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was first arraigned on May 24, but later opted to change his plea. Consequently, he was re-arraigned on July 2 and pleaded guilty to the charge, after which the court adjourned the case for review of facts and sentencing.
Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Faji held that section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act stipulates a maximum punishment for the offence, but owing to the fact that the convict was a first offender, same ought not to be imposed on him.
Faji, therefore, found the accused guilty of the offences as charged, and sentenced him to a term of four years imprisonment, beginning from the date of arraignment.
Meanwhile, the court ordered that the international passport of the convict be forfeited to the Federal Government, while the Nigeria Immigration Service should be notified of the judgment.
Faji also ordered that the drug exhibit be destroyed by the NDLEA after the expiration of the period of appeal. In the charge, the convict is said to have committed the offence on March 5.
According to the prosecution, he was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport during the inward clearance of an airline flight from Brazil.
The prosecutor, Mrs Juliana Iroabuchi, said about 380g of Cocaine was recovered from the convict, which he concealed in a music disk pack.
The offence contravenes the provisions of sections 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.