Justice P.I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court in Ibadan on Tuesday sentenced two drug traffickers, Shehu Mohammed and Jelili Umar, to eight months in prison for trafficking 1.1 kg of Indian hemp valued at N7,800.
Ajoku said that she convicted and sentenced Mohammed and Umar due to the fact that they pleaded guilty as well as the evidence tendered against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“This judgment is in line with the provision of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
“I have considered the plea of the defence counsel that the court should temper justice with mercy in sentencing his clients, especially because they are first time offenders.
“It is my hope that the duo are truly remorseful of their criminal action.
“However, to serve as deterrent to other drug dealers, the convicts are sentenced to four months in prison each.
“The sentence starts from the date they were first arrested.
“All the weed substance found in the possession of the convicts are to be destroyed by NDLEA,” the judge said.
The defence counsel, Mr Musbau Olapade, had prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his clients.
“They have both learnt their lessons in a bitter way from the little time they spent in prison.
“None of their relatives is aware of their problems.
“Please, give them a second chance to change for the better,” Olapade had pleaded with the court.
Mr Raphael Himinkaiye, the counsel to the NDLEA in Oyo State, had earlier informed the court that the convicts were arraigned on a one-count charge of unlawful dealing in Indian hemp.
Himinkaiye said that Mohammed and Umar committed the crime on March 7 at Omiadio area of Ibadan.
According to the prosecutor, the convicts were apprehended with a sack containing 1.1 kg of the illicit substance by police officers who were on patrol on the Omiadio express way.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the duo, who spoke through an interpreter, had pleaded not guilty when they were first arraigned in April.
Himinkaiye told the court that the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 11 (C ) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Law of Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)
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