Court Jails Bricklayer For Selling Indian Hemp In Prison

A Lagos Federal High Court, has sentenced a 31 year-old bricklayer, Rasheed Bolaji, to two years imprisonment, for selling Cannabis Sativa, in Ikoyi custodial centre of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS).

Justice Abimbola Awogboro, sentenced the bricklayer to the jail-term, after convicted him of two counts charge trafficking and unlawful dealing in 5. 3 kilograms of India hemp, leveled against him by the anti-narcotic agency, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convict had pleaded guilty to the charges when he was arraigned on Friday.

Following his guilty plea, the prosecutor, M. I. Erondu, while reviewing the facts of the charge, told the court that the convict was arrested with the banned weed, on December 2, 2022, at Ikoyi Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos, which he was selling.

The prosecutor told the court that the convict’s actions are contrary to and punishable under Sections 11(b) and 11 (c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30 LFN 2004.

She consequently urged the court to sentence the convict in accordance with the sections 274(2) and 375 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act?ACJA) 2015.

But the convict, asked the court for mercy, saying that ‘this is first time he was selling the banned weed’. He promised not to engage in any form of crimes if given the second chance.

Also, the convict’s lawyer, Bolanle Kolawole, in her allucutor, told the court that her client was a bricklayer, who ‘smoke’ the Indian hemp for energy, while working.

She pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing him, while also pray the court to award an option of fine in lieu of custodian sentence.

Justice Awogboro, in her judgment, after listening to the prosecutor and the convict, and after citing several legal authorites, sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment without and option of fine.

One of the charges against the convcit reads; “That you Rasheed Bolaiji, Male, 31 years old on or about the 2nd day of December 2022 at Ikoyi Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without lawful authority Trafficked 5.3 Kilogrames of Cannabis Sativa a drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin and LSD and you thereby committed an offence as provided for and punishable under Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30 LFN 2004.”

In the same vein, a father of five children, Olusesi Yusuf, has been sentenced to 600 hours community service, by Justice Abimbola Awogboro of a Lagos Federal High Court, for illegal dealing and possession of some banned substances. 

The 41 year-old according to the prosecutor, M. I. Erondu, was arrested on March 6, 2023, 2023 at Felix Ogaga Close, Aso Oke, Ajah Lagos State, where he was selling the banned substances.

Banned drugs found on the convict when arrested according to the prosecutor includes; 15.5 grams of Cocaine; 14 grams of India hemp; and a total of 14 grams of Swinol, a psychotropic substance.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the convict, contravened 19 and 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and punishable under the same Act.

The convict, who is an Air conditioner repairer, admitted committing the offences and pleaded guilty to the charges.

Upon the convict’s plea, the prosecutor urged the court to sentence him, having pleaded guilty to the charges.

However, lawyer to the convict, Oke Ojakovo, in his allucutor, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing him.

The lawyer told the court that his client who is a first time offender, is a repairer of air conditioner with five children and a pregnant wife, adding that he was misled in selling the substances by his friends.

The lawyer told the court that the convict has learnt his lesson in a bitter way. He therefore urged the court to award an option of fine instead on custodian sentence.

Justice Awogboro in her judgment, sentenced the convict to 600 hour community service. While also ordered that all the substances recover from him be destroyed by the NDLEA.