Court Jails South African Returnee 38 Years For Drug Trafficking

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday convicted and sentenced a Nigerian businessman based in South Africa, Raji Issa Adio to 38 years imprisonment for trafficking in 5.10 kilogrammes of banned hard drugs.

The trial judge, Justice Chuk Obiozor handed down the verdict convicting the 43-years-old man of the three counts charge of conspiracy and unlawful possession of 5.10 kilogrammes of Heroine brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convict was first arraigned before the court on December 7, 2017 and he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The NDLEA had told the court that the convict was arrested on September 3, 2017,  during an inward Clearance of South Africa Airway flight to Lagos, Nigeria, at the E-Arrival Hall of the Murtala Mohammad international Airport Ikeja, Lagos.

He was said to have without lawful authority knowingly possessed 5.10 kilogrammes of Heroin which were concealed under his two traveling bags inform of false Button

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The NDLEA had also informed the court that the convicted businessman on or about September 2, 2017, while at South Africa conspired with one Segun and Eddie, both residents of South Africa and now at large, to import the banned drug to the country.

The offences accordingly to the prosecutor, Mrs. Imaobong Iroabuchi, are contrary to and punishable under sections 11(d), 11 (a) and 14 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

During trial, Mrs. Iroabuchi, called some witnesses and tendered 13 exhibits, which includes the banned drugs seized from the convict, his international passport, test analysis of the seized drugs and some foreign currencies.

The convict also testified in his own defence, while being led by his counsel, Chief Lilian Omotunde.

In his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Obiozor held that, “the prosecution has been able to established all the allegations as contained in that charge against the convict beyond reasonable doubt,”

The judge, therefore, sentenced the convict to 15 Years imprisonment on both count one and three, while he sentenced him to eight years imprisonment on count two.

The judge also held that the convict’s jail terms will start counting from September 3, 2017, when he was arrested and that it will run concurrently.

Justice Obiozor, however, gave the convict an option of N1.5 million fine on count one and three respectively, but he imposes no option of fine on count two.

19th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph