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Nine (9) Years of Court Jails for Clearing Agent

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Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos has convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old clearing agent, Basil Nwobodo to nine years imprisonment for trafficking in 30.10 kilogrammes of Methamphetamine, a narcotic substance.

Justice Osiagor jailed Nwobodo after he pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of conspiracy to deal in the banned substance brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

He was arraigned alongside a London (United Kingdom) based businessman Chinedu Eze, who pleaded not guilty to the offence.

The prosecutor, Augustine Nwagu, had told the court that the convict and Eze were arrested with the prohibited substance on May 16, 2023, during the examination and clearing of cargo for export to London at SAHCOL Export Shed at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Nwagu had also claimed that the duo jointly committed the offences with one Fredrick Obunwa, who is now at large.

He further maintained that the offence is contrary to and punishable under sections 14(b) and 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The two men had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge when they were first arraigned, and they were granted bail by the court.

However, at the resumed trial of the charges on Monday, the cleaning agent signified his intention to change his plea, and the court ordered that the charge be re-read to him.

But the defence lawyer, Uchenna Okoronkwwo, in his allocutor, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his client by imposing an option of a fine on him instead of a custodial sentence.

In his judgment, Justice Osiagor sentenced the convict to nine years imprisonment but ordered him to pay a fine of N7 million with a month of community service instead of the jail term.

The judge has, however, adjourned the trial of Eze, to February 23, 2024....CONTINUE.FULL.READING._BND>>

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