Shina Abubakar – Osogbo
A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo has sentenced a palmwine tapper, Makinde Gbolahan, 25, to two years jail term for illegal possession of 11kg of Indian hemp.
Prior to the judgement on Wednesday, the convict’s wife, Rukayat Makinde, who was on knees, pleaded with the court to, in the interest of their four children, temper justice with mercy.
She told the court that she noted her husband was selling Indian hemp for four years before he was caught and is no longer aware he is still in the business.
However, in his judgement, Justice Lifu opined that from the fact available before him, the convict has been dealing with the illegal substance for 9 years even after he was caught several times.3
He said, “having listened to the convict’s wife, Ronke, his uncle, as well as his profile. One is compelled to temper justice with mercy but there must be punishment for such crime.
“I hereby sentence the convict to two years imprisonment with hard labour. The jail term is to start from January 1, 2021.
Makinde was first arraigned before justice Peter Lifu on May 20, 2017 on a count of illegal possession of Indian hemp also known as cannabis sativa.
The prosecutor, Barr Ogaga Azugo also disclosed that he was caught in Gbongan on April 11, 2017 with the substance, an offence contrary to and punishable under section 19 of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Makinde however, pleaded not guilty to the charge leveled against him.
The prosecutor tender in exhibit, Makinde’s statement and the hemp recovered from him.