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Court Slams Life Sentence On Lagos Drug Merchants

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By Ayo Balogun

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Wednesday, slammed life sentence and 24 years imprisonments on two drug convicts.

The convicts – Messrs Aluagwu Lawrence, 32, caught with 220 grammes of cannabis got life imprisonment with hard labour while Ameachi Igwe, 37 was found in possession of 2.7 grammes of cocaine was slammed with 25 years’ imprisonment also with hard labour.

In her ruling, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia dismissed the plea of Lawrence that he had no formal education and that his father divorced his mother when he was still a toddler. She held that single parenting and lack of formal education was not an excuse for drug trafficking.

The judge also expressed concern over the second convict, Igwe, who was nabbed while selling cocaine at the popular Mile 12 market in Lagos.

Both Lawrence and Igwe pleaded guilty to unlawful possession and dealing in narcotics at the Court. NDLEA prosecutor, Barrister Jeremiah Aernan told the court that Igwe, who is also a night Guard, 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.

At the point of arrest, the agency prosecutor recalled the convict who hails from Ebonyi State pretended to be deaf and dumb.

Meanwhile, the Acting Chairman of the NDLEA, Mrs Roli Bode-George has applauded the judgement.

“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 National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (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” Mrs Bode-George said, in a statement by the agency’s Head of Public Affairs, Ofoyeju Mitchell.

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