By Esther Onyegbula
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, sentenced a man, Mr. Anthony Chidi Ikeaba, to 14 years imprisonment for unlawfully importing 1.782 kg of cocaine into the country. Ikeaba was arrested on arrival from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, by officials of National Drug Laws and Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, with cocaine at the arrival hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on April 20.
The anti-narcotics drug agency, on April 26, arraigned the convict for unlawful importation of cocaine, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(a) of the NDLEA Act. During the review of fact of the case by the prosecution yesterday, Ikeaba pleaded guilty.
In his judgment, Justice Okon Abang noted that if drug traffickers will not relent in their criminal act, he will continue to elongate their stay in confinement. He then sentenced the convict to 14 years imprisonment, adding that the sentence would take effect from the date of the convict’s arrest.
Meanwhile, the case involving Mrs Joy Ogundare, who was allegedly caught planting cocaine in a pastor’s house, was adjourned to June 15 at the instance of the defence. NDLEA counsel, Waji Iliya, had produced witnesses in court for cross-examination in the case of cocaine planting, but the defence counsel, Bashir Sale, told the court that he needed time to study the case.
Justice Zainab then adjourned the case to June 15, while the accused is still in prison custody. In a related judgement, Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Kano, also sentenced a 400 level student of Geology, Mudasir Sani Umar, to nine months imprisonment for dealing in 108 bottles of cough syrups, containing codeine.
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Kano State Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, said that cough syrup with codeine is one of the drugs abused in the state.
He said: “We are working hard to prevent the abuse of cough syrup with codeine and other substances in the state by youths and women. The command is partnering with relevant stakeholders to create awareness so as to reduce cases of substance abuse.”
Mudasir was arrested with 108 bottles of cough syrups with codeine weighing 28kg packed in two laptop bags during routine search by an NDLEA motorised patrol team along Kano Zaria road. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment.