A student of one of the polytechnic in the Eastern part of Nigeria, Odoemena Chinonye Jessica, was on Wednesday convicted by a Lagos Federal High Court, for unlawful importation of a banned substance, methamphetamine into the country.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo, who presided over the court, convicted the student after she changed her not guilty plea a count charge of the offence made against her by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The convicted student had pleaded not guilty to the charge when she was first arraigned before the court sometime in 2019.
At the resumed trial of the charge against the student today, she signified to court her intention to reverse her earlier ‘not guilty plea’. The decision which was not opposed by the prosecutor, Mr. Austine Nwagu.
Upon the reading of the charge which reads: “that you Odoemena Chinonye Jessica, female, adult on or about the 24th day of June, 2019 at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja —Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority imported 4.140 kilogrammes of Methamphetamine, a narcotic drug similar to cocaine, heroin, or LSD and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.
The convict admitted committing the offence and pleaded guilty.
Following the student’s plea of guilty, the prosecutor, Mr. Nwagu, reviewed the facts of the crime and urged the court to convict and sentence in accordance with Section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Upon the prosecutor’s submissions, the Convict’s counsel urged the court to temper justice with mercy, saying that his client is a first time offender, who has become remorseful since she was arrested for the offence.
He also pleaded with the judge not to give his client a custodian sentence but to give an option of fine.
Ruling on the submission made by the counsel, Justice Oweibo, sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment. The judge however ordered her to pay N50, 000, fine in lieu of the sentence.