By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A Nigeria hard drug exporter, “Diarra Saidou” was today, 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 men of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), during an outward clearance of passengers into Ethiopia an 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 was re-arrested in November 2018 and his bail was consequently revoked.
During his trial, the prosecutor, Jonathan Igwubor told the court that 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 of laboratory test of the drugs, and some foreign currency.
Delivering judgement today, Justice Ayotunde Faji said: “the prosecution has been able to established and proved the charge against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.
“Consequently, the defendant is hereby convicted as charged”.
Following Justice Faji’s pronouncement, the convict’s lawyer, Mr. O. Kobani, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentence his client.
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 alocutors of the counsel, the convict is hereby sentenced to nine years imprisonment”.
The judge also ordered that the exhibits tendered by the prosecution should be destroyed after 90 days if three no any appeal against the judgement.
The charge against the convict reads: “that you Diarra Saiduo, Male, 37 years. on or about the 20th day of August, 2016, on or at about 11 hours, during the outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline Addis-Ababa to Hung Kong at Screening 1 hall of the Murtala Muhammed, Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without lawful authority did export 355 grammes of cocaine, a narcotic drug (by ingestion. using a Malian International passport, an 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”.