Court Jails Airport Worker Who Attempted Putting Drug In Passenger’s Luggage

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of a Lagos Federal High Court, has convicted Ajuzieogu MacElvis Ugochukwu, an airport worker, who attempted putting prohibited drug in Ghana-bound passenger’s luggage.

Convicted alongside ugochukwu, an employee of Pathfinder International Ltd, an aviation security service company, is a 31 year-old Okosun Paul Punitt, the owner of the prohibited drugs.

Both Ugochukwu and Okosun, were sentenced to a year imprisonment on the offences of conspiracy and unlawful export of the said drug, made against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

It would be recall that a video of the face-off between the innocent passenger and Ajuzieogu went viral on January 16, 2024, after the vigilant passenger suspected the consignment contained illicit substances.

The two convicts were charged to court on Thursday, on the charges of conspiracy and unlawful export of 17 grammes of Tramadol 225 mg, a psychotropic substance similar to Heroin.

The prosecutor, Mr. Augustine Nwagu, had told the court that the two convicts committed the offences on January 14, 2024, at departure hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

He told the court that the convicts’ acts contravened sections 14(b) and 20(1)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. And punishable 20(2)(a) of the same Act.

The two convicts pleaded guilty to the charges.

Consequently, the prosecutor reviewed the facts of the charges, and urged the court sentence them in accordance to section 274(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

The prosecutor also pleaded with the court to release the prohibited drug to his agency for destruction if there is appeal against the judgment after the stipulated period.

Most especially, the prosecutor u ged the court to confiscate the second convict’s international passport to the federal government of Nigeria.

But the convicts’ lawyer, Okon, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his clients, whom he said are first time convicts, who did not have previous conviction record.

The lawyer, also appealed to court to consider fine option in lieu of the custodian sentence.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa in his judgment, sentence each of the convicts to a year in each of the counts.

The judge however ordered each of the defendants to pay the sum of N300, 000, 00, in lieu of the jail-term. While also ordered that the International Passport be released to the second convict, after serving the jail-term or paying the fine option.