A Federal High Court sitting in Jos on Wednesday sentenced a 62-year-old man, Hycinth Njoku, to five years imprisonment for unlawful possession of hard drugs. Njoku was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to the crime and begged for leniency.
Mrs. Ramatu Oketola, prosecution counsel to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), had told the court that Njoku, a resident of New Layout Quarters in Bokkos, Plateau State, was arrested on July 27, by NDLEA officials. Oketola told the court that the suspect was being tried on a one-count charge of unlawful possession of hard drugs. She tendered 65g of Cannabis and 29.7g of Tramadol, both similar to cocaine and other narcotic, as exhibits. “My lord, the suspect’s offence contravened Section 19 of NDLEA Act, Cap. N30 Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (as amended),” she stated. Oketola further told the court that the suspect was a second offender, having been jailed before by a law court some years back. Njoku promptly confirmed the lawyer’s claim. Justice Dorcas Agishi, in her judgement, sentenced Njoku to five years imprisonment without an option of fine. “For being a second offender, I hereby sentence you to five years imprisonment without an option of fine, to serve as a deterrent to others. “The law will take its course considering your age and your resolve to be a notorious drug dealer, ’’ the judge said. Justice Agishi ordered that the hard drugs tendered as exhibits be burnt by the NDLEA within 30 days after the judgment. NAN