A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Friday, sentenced a 36-year-old man, Onyeka Efobi, to 15 years in prison for unlawful importation of 1.5 kg of cocaine.
The convict was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on a three count charge which bordered on unlawful possession, conspiracy, and unlawful importation of the said drug from Brazil.
The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 11(b) 11(d) and 14(b) of the NDLEA Act. Cap N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.
The convict had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge, when he was first arraigned, and the prosecution had opened trial.
The prosecutor, Mrs Imaobong Iroabuchi, had called six witnesses, who had given evidence on how the convict was arrested at the arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, on Sept. 27, 2017.
The witness had narrated how it was discovered that the convict ingested the narcotics from Brazil enroute Morocco, and how he had excreted same six times during interrogation.
While the trial was still ongoing, the convict opted to change his plea.
He was then rearraigned and this time, he pleaded guilty to all three counts.
Following his change of plea, the prosecutor reviewed the facts of the case and tendered exhibits before the court, which were admitted and marked.
Meanwhile, defence lawyer had pleaded with the court to be lenient in sentencing the convict, on the ground that he was a first time offender who had no previous criminal records.
The lawyer had also told the court that the convict was remorseful, and was forced to engaged in the illicit act to raise money for his collapsed business.
The court had then reserved sentence unill Friday (today)
Delivering judgment on Friday, the court held: “I do not agree that the convict is remorseful; he only changed his plea after the prosecution had gone far with his trial.
The court held that one must not lose sight of the rising wave of such crime in the society.
“I shall sentence you, Onyeka Efobi, to 15 years imprisonment on count one, seven years on count two, and 15 years on count three.
“The terms shall run concurrently”. The court held.
With the concurrent sentence, the convict is to spend 15 years in jail. (NAN)