The Federal Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, passed down on Aluagwu Lawrence, 32, caught with 220 grammes of cannabis, life imprisonment with hard labour and Ameachi Igwe, 37, who was found in possession of 2.7 grammes of cocaine, 25 years jail term also with hard labour.
Mitchel Ofoiyueju, spokesman for the National Drug Law Enfoercement Agency (NDLEA), said the Acting Chairman/Chief Executive, Roli Bode-George, commended the judiciary over the life sentence and twenty-five years imprisonments passed on two drug convicts by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia in Lagos.
She said that the ruling reflects the criminal rating of drug offences in the country.
According to her, “the sentences demonstrate the readiness of the judiciary to strictly apply the law on culprits. This is highly commendable and a motivating force for Nigeria’s anti-narcotics campaign. These provisions are there in the NDLEA Act and it is a positive development that the judiciary is taking the bull by the horn. It will further sensitize members of the public on the severity of drug trafficking”.
Delivering her judgement, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia dismissed the plea of Aluagwu Lawrence that he had no formal education and that the father divorced his mother when he was a little child.
She said single parenting and lack of formal education is not an excuse for drug trafficking.
Aluagwu was therefore sentenced to life imprisonment.
The judge also expressed concern over the second convict who was arrested while selling cocaine at the popular Mile 12 market in Lagos.
Ameachi Igwe was therefore sentenced to 25 years with hard labour. Immediately after the judgment was passed, the mother of Aluagwu Lawrence began to weep uncontrollably in the court premises as friends and relatives consoled her.
The convicts both pleaded guilty to unlawful possession and dealing in narcotics at the Federal High Court.
NDLEA prosecutor, Barrister Jeremiah Aernan told the court that Ameachi Igwe was arrested on May 8, 2015 at about 1100hrs by NDLEA officers at Mile 12 Market where he was found with 2.7 grammes of powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.
The convict who is a night guard also sells cocaine at the market. When asked to speak, he pretended to be deaf and dumb.
Aluagwu was arrested on 12 February 2015 with 220 grammes of dried weeds found to be cannabis under the bridge at Ojota, Lagos.
He pleaded guilty blaming his circumstances on his lack of formal education and that the father abandoned him and the mother when he was a little child.