Drug trafficker, workers face 75-year prison sentence – Nigeria – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

• NDLEA appeals against ‘ridiculous’ option of fines for convicts

A major drug trafficker, Mike Omoarukhe, his manager and three other workers at his cannabis farms have been sentenced to 75 years in prison by a Federal High Court in Benin City, the capital of Edo State.

The convicts were indicted in July by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on a charge of five counts number FHC / B / 107c / 2021 bordering on possession of 183.5 kilograms (kg) of cannabis Sativa, conspiracy to own, cultivate and cultivate. of 22 hectares of cannabis farms.

In rendering his judgment in the case last Thursday, Judge AC Obiozor sitting in the second court of the Federal High Court, judicial chamber of Benin, sentenced the defendants to 15 years on each of the five charges, bringing the total from years of imprisonment to 75 years, which run simultaneously. The judge, however, gave the convicts the option of a fine of N 700,000 for all charges.

Meanwhile, the agency’s president / general manager, Brigadier. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd) ordered that an immediate appeal be lodged with the court of appeal against the fine option granted to convicts by the trial judge.

On July 1, 2021, NDLEA members stormed the Ughieudu Forest in the Uhunwonde Local Council of Edo State, where six people: Elijah John, Friday Emma, ​​Itoro Emmanuel, Daniel Emmanuel, Udom Etok and Abraham Monday Thompson were arrested with 50 kg of cannabis. A follow-up operation in Ughieudu Forest on July 3 led to the arrest of Emmanuel Ekpeyoung and the total destruction of three cannabis farms with a combined area of ​​22,210,421 hectares and the seizure of 133.5 kg of cannabis.

After weeks of manhunts for the farm owner, Omoarukhe, 36, was later arrested at a drinking bar in Irrua, after which they were all charged in court, except for two d ‘between them ; Udom Etok and Abraham Monday Thompson, who were discovered as minors.

In a related development, the anti-narcotics agency filed a notice of appeal against the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos chaired by Judge DE Osiagor which sentenced two defendants, Clément Ajayi and Bolaji Fajebe, to three years. imprisonment or a fine of N3,000 and two years’ imprisonment or a fine of N2,000, respectively, for the two counts of conspiracy and illicit drug trafficking brought against them under number d charge FHC / L / 199C / 2021.

In a three-ground notice of appeal dated October 15, 2021, signed by NDLEA Director of Prosecutions and Legal Services, Mr. Joseph Sunday and filed in the Lagos Division of the tribunal, the agency argued that the Judge Osiagor’s judgment of October 8, which offered the two convicts a fine of N 3,000 and N 2,000 was “ridiculous, unjustifiable, unjustifiable and contrary to the public interest”

He further argued that the trial judge did not provide any reason for imposing the ridiculous sentence, which is contrary to “section 14 of the National Drug Enforcement Law Cap N30 LFN 2004, which prescribes a sentence of at least 15 years and not exceeding 25 years of imprisonment for the offense.

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