By Lukman Olabiyi
The convicted smugglers, were sentenced to five and three years imprisonment respectively, by the Federal High Court , Lagos on Friday, after they both pleaded guilty to a count charge each made against them by the anti-narcotic agency.
Arraigning the convicts on separate charges marked FHC/L/489c/2022 and FHC/L/504c/2022, before the court, the prosecutors, Abu Ibrahim and Augustine Nwagu, informed the court that Ehiarimwian, was arrested on August 28, 20022, at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos during the outward clearance of passengers, with 2.65 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, which he intend to smuggle to Milan, Italy.
While the second convict, 25 years old Olagunju, was arrested on August 24, 2022, at the departure hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja during the outward clearance of passengers, with 400 grammes of tramadol, which he wanted to smuggle to Oman, an Asia county.
The prosecutor told the court that the offence commited by the convicts, contravened Sections 11(b) and 20(1)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 20(2)(a) of the same Act.
The convicts pleaded guilty to the charge.
Following their guilty plea, the prosecutors urged that court to sentence them according to the sections of the law they were charged with.
But the convicts’ lawyers, in their allocutus, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing thier clients, as they were first time offenders and for not wasting the court’s precious time in pleading guilty to the charges against them.
One of the lawyers, Dennis Warri, who represented the first convict, Ehiarimwian, told the court that his client was using the banned drug as a reliever, due to his state of health, which he had been battling with since his childhood age.
The lawyers urged the court to give their clients an option of fine in lieu of the custodian sentence.
Justice Osiagor in his judgment, sentenced the convicts to three and five years imprisonment respectively.
The judge however, gave the first convcit, Ehiarimwian, an option of N50, 000, fine, while the second convict, Olagunju, was given fine of N30, 000, in lieu of custodian sentence.
The judge also ordered that the bulk of the seized tramadol be destroyed by the NDLEA if there is no appeal against the judgment with the stipulated period. And that the convicts’ international passport be confiscated by the federal government of Nigeria