By Sade Williams
Justice B.O. Quadri of the Federal High Court Abuja has sentenced a 55 year old female pilgrim, Binuyo Basirat Iyabo, who was caught last September smuggling 76 pellets of cocaine weighing 931 grammes to Medina, Saudi Arabia, to ten years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from February 27, 2017.
In his judgement delivered on Monday February 27, 2017 Quadri said that the sentence should serve as a deterrent to others.
Besides, he said that the hard labour was added because the convict failed to reveal the identity of her sponsors.
Binuyo tested positive to narcotic ingestion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja while on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia last September.
She was immediately placed under observation by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) where she excreted seventy-six (76) pellets of substances found to be cocaine.
NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport, Hamisu Lawan said that the convict hails from Irepodun local government area of Kwara State. She is married with three children and a trader at Dosumu market, Lagos.
In her statement to the NDLEA, she agreed to smuggling the drugs for a fee. “I am a trader in Lagos, married with three children. I wanted to expand my cosmetic business but I have no money. My sponsor offered to foot my expenses to Saudi on pilgrimage. I was excited until I was asked to take drugs along. I wanted to decline but considering the offer of a million naira, I accepted. I swallowed the drugs in Lagos and took flight to Abuja on my way to Medina but I was caught in the process” she stated.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) while applauding the sentence warned against drug trafficking.
“The war against drug trafficking in Nigeria is on course. Stopping the woman from going to Saudi with the drugs was highly commendable and the punishment is right. No drug traffickers shall go unpunished” he stated.