Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday convicted and sentenced a Lebanese drugs trafficker, Charbel Chalouhi, to six months imprisonment for unlawful dealing in 1.2 grams of cocaine.
Justice Oweibo handed down the verdict after the Lebanese entered into a plea bargain agreement with the prosecuting agency, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The convict was first arraigned before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel sometimes in October, 2018, after he was arrested at his Lagos residence on September 10, 2018, for trafficking in the said banned drug.
The offence which according to the prosecutor, Jerry Aernan, was contrary to and punishable under section 11(d) of the NDLEA Act.
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He had pleaded not guilty to the one count charge brought against him by the NDLEA.
And following the plea of his counsel, Benson Ndakara, for his bail, which was granted by the court in various terms.
However, upon transfered of Justice Ayo-Emmanuel from Lagos, the convict’s case file was inherited by Justice Oweibo.
At the resumed trial of the convict on Thursday, his counsel, Ndakara told the court that his client wishes to change his plea.
Ndakara said the decision of his client to change his plea was premised on a plea bargain agreement reached with the prosecuting agency.
Ndakara’s position was confirmed by the prosecutor, Aernan.
Following the development, Justice Oweibo admitted the plea bargain agreement and consequently sentenced the convict to six months imprisonment.
The judge however gave the convict an option of N200, 000 fine, in lieu of the jail terms.
Justice Oweibo also ordered that the international passport of the convict be released to him upon observing the court judgment.
While also ordered that the drug recovered from to convict’s possession be confiscated by the NDLEA.