Due to his involvement in the unlawful transportation of 4, 238.29kg of Cannabis Sativa, popularly called marijuana, a 24-year-old man, Yusuf Taofeek, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment by Justice Daniel Osiagor of a Federal High Court in Lagos. Taofeek was convicted and jailed after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to transport and unlawful transportation of the prohibited leaves, slammed on him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Following Taofeek’s guilty plea, NDLEA’s lawyer, Lambert Nor, reviewed the facts of the case and tendered several exhibits, which were admitted by the court. The lawyer also urged the court to sentence Taofeek in accordance with the sections of the NDLEA law upon which he was charged.
Nor equally moved an application for the final forfeiture of the Mercedes-Benz truck used by the convict to illegally transport the Cannabis Sativa. According to Nor, the application was brought under Sections 3(c); 31(a); 32(c); 33; 34, and 36 of the NDLEA Act Cap. N30 LFN 2004; Section 42 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999; Order 26 Rule 8 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.
Responding, defence lawyer, R.M.J. Nyier, in her plea for leniency, urged the court to grant her client an option of fine in lieu of custodian sentence. In his judgement, Justice Osiagor sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment on each of the counts.
While ordering that the jail term should run concurrently, the judge gave the convict an option of N1 million fine, in lieu of the custodian sentence. Justice Osiagor further directed that the blue/white Mercedes- Benz truck with registration number AGL 156 YA; Chassis No. WDB67401315813397 and Engine No. A 366901102258506, used by the convict to transport the Cannabis Sativa, be forfeited to the Federal Government. It would be recalled that the NDLEA, through its counsel, Lambert Nor, had docked the convict on the charge marked FHC/L/01c/2022. Addressing the court, Nor informed Justice Osiagor that the convict had on December 11, 2022, at 2nd Toll Gate, Opposite V.G.C. Estate, Lekki, Lagos, conspired with some others now at large and transported 4, 238.29kg of Cannabis Sativa.
The lawyer equally told the judge that the convict and others at large used a White/Blue Benz 814 Truck with Reg. No. AGL 156 YA; Chassis No. WDB67401315813397 and Engine No. A 366901102258506, to unlawfully convey the prohibited leaves. Nor further told the judge that the offence contravened Sections 14 (b) and 11(b) of the NDLEA Act Cap N 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and is punishable under the same Act.