Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
A Nigeria hard drug exporter, Diarra Saidou, was on Friday, convicted and sentenced to nine-year imprisonment by a Federal High Court, Lagos, for attempting to export 355 grams of cocaine to China.
The convict, aged 37, who refused to divulge his Nigeria’s name, was arrested on August 20, 2016, by the men of National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), during an outward clearance of passengers into Ethiopia Airline from Addis-Ababa to Hong Kong, at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
He was first arraigned before the court sometimes in 2016 and admitted to bail.
The convict, while on trial absconded and rearrested in November 2018
and his bail was revoked.
Murtala Mohammed Airport, where the suspect was arrested
During his trial, the prosecutor, Jonathan Igwubor told the court the convict was arrested with the banned drugs which he ingested. Igwubor also called several witnesses and tendered several exhibits which include the seized drug, Mali International passport, his
conventional statements, samples laboratory test of the drugs, and some foreign currency.
Delivering judgement on the charge, Justice Ayotunde faji said: “the prosecution has been able to establish and prove the charge against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.
“Consequently, the defendant is hereby convicted as charged”.
Following Justice Faji’s pronouncements, the convict’s lawyer, Mr O. Kobani, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentence his client.
Cocaine, the Illicit Drug
Kobani told the court that the convict is the breadwinner of his family and that during the period he was not in court, he was attending to some family issues. Adding that during the period he was remanded he had become remorseful.
However, in sentencing the convict, the presiding judge, Justice Faji, said: ” I have carefully listened to the allocutor of the counsel, the convict is hereby sentenced to nine years imprisonment”.
The judge also ordered that the exhibits tendered by the prosecution be confiscated after 90 days if three no any appeal against the judgment.
The Long Arm of the Law
The charge against the convict reads: “that you Diarra Saiduo, Male, 37 years. on or about the 20th day of August 2016, at about 11 hours, during the outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline Addis-Ababa to Hong Kong at Screening 1 hall at the Murtala Muhammad, Ikeja, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without lawful authority did export 355 grams of cocaine, a narcotic drug (by ingestion. using a Malian International passport, offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(b) of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2006”.