Court Jail 3 Bolivians on Drug Charges

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday, sentenced three Bolivia nationals, to 12 years imprisonment for unlawful production of a controlled drug known as Methamphetamine, a drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin and LSD.
The jailed Bolivians are: Reuben Ticono Jorge, Yhugo Chavaez Moreno, and Yerko Artunduago Dorado.
The court had on Monday, November 21, 2016, convicted the three Bolivians after they had pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of drug related offences leveled against them by the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
During the review of the facts of the charge, the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim had tendered several evidence, including certificate of test analysis, drug analysis reports, statements of the accused which were written in English and Portuguese, and other incriminating evidence, which were admitted as exhibits by the court.
However, Justice Oguntoyinbo reserved judgment against the Bolivians till Tuesday, following the plea by their lawyer, Chief Benson Ndakara, to be lenient in sentencing them due to the period they had spent in detention.
Delivering judgment, Justice Oguntoyinbo said the jail terms prescribed by the NDLEA Act for count one of the charge is life imprisonment without prescribing minimum sentence.
The judge also stated that the prescribed jail term for second count is 25 years without prescribing minimum jail terms.
Consequently, Jusice Oguntoyinbo sentenced the each of the three Bolivians to six years on each counts.
She ordered that the jail terms to run concurrently and that the seized drug be destroyed by the officials of the anti-drug agency in the presence of the accused counsel.
The convicted Bolivians alongside two Nigerians, Basil Ikechukwu Uzoka and Uba Ubachukwu Collins, were arraigned before the court on a six count-charge bordering on unlawful production and storage of the controlled drug.
While the convicted Bolivians alongside the Nigerians were only charged on two count charges of unlawful production of controlled drug known as Methamphetamine, and unlawfully used a property located at 38, Daily Times Estate, Satellite Town, for the production of the said controlled drug.
One of the Nigerians, Basil Ikechukwu is facing a three-count charge of allowing the said property to be used for the storing unlawful of the controlled drug, aiding and financing the convicted Bolivians in the production of the drug.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
On his part, Uba Ubachukwu Collins was alleged to have allowed the said property to be used for the production of the drug and also engaged in the distribution of a controlled drug called Acetone.
The alleged offences are contrary to sections 20(1)(a), 12, 14(b), 20(1)(g) and 20(1)(f), and punishable under sections 20(2)(a), and 20(2)(b) of the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency Act, Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Earlier, lawyer to Uba Ubachukwu Collins, Mr. Makin Nesaya, informed the court of demise of his client through an affidavit he deposed to.
But the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim, urged the court to discountenance the affidavit on the ground that such affidavit was not supported with any doctor’s report certifying the accused person dead.
But the presiding judge, Justice Oguntoyinbo, while not admitting the affidavit as exhibit, ordered the lawyer to attach a death certificate report from either government or private hospital indicating that the accused person is dead indeed.
However, the trial of the fourth accused person, Basil ikechukwu Uzoka, has been adjourned till December 12, 2016.
Barnabas Hunjo

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