Court Jails HIV Infected Woman 12 Months For Illegal Dealing In Cannabis

A Lagos Federal High Court, has convicted and sentenced one Bilikisu Lawal, who claimed to be battling Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to 12 calendar months.

Bilikisu was given the jail-term last Friday, by Justice Ayokunle Faji, while delivering judgment on a count charge of unauthorized dealing in 5.0 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa popularly called marijuana.

The convcit was brought before the court by the men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on the charge 

During the convict’s arraignment, the prosecutor, Femi Adebayo, informed the court that she was arrested with the prohibited weed, on November 2, 2022, at her house situated at Odofin, Ebute Onijegi Iworo, Badagry, Lagos State.

The prosecutor told the court that the convict act, contravened section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, and punishable under the same Act.

The convcit pleaded guilty to the charge.

With her guilty plea, the prosecutor after citing plethoras of authorites, urged the court to sentence her in accordance with relevant legal authorites.

But the convict in her plea for leniency, informed the court that she is a HIV patient, who did not have anyone to care of her.

She also told the court that it was her 100 years old mother that sells the banned weeds, and that she was arrested when she visited her mother who sells the prohibited weeds.

Following her claim of being HIV patient, Justice Faji, requested for medical prove of her claim, which she presented.

Justice Faji, in his judgment on Friday, sentenced the convict to 12 calendar months.

Before sentencing the Convict, Justice Faji held that: “the Convict is fairly elderly at the age of 52 and ought to have known better that indulge in drug business. Her case however is that it was her mother who was selling the drug and that despite disapproval by the family, the old woman of 100 years of age still persisted. The Convict was arrested when she went on a visit to her mother. I do not agree with the suggestion that a 100 year old could be involved in drug business without her family being able to wean her of the habit or trade.

“Her offspring such as the Convict herein have become in loco parentis to her and are indeed constructively committing the offence and cannot say they could not do anything about it.

“To me that is a situation of wilful blindness which cannot be condoned. Accordingly, I hereby sentence you Bilikisu Lawal,  to a term of 12 months imprisonment starting from 2nd November, 2022.”

He consequently ordered the NCoS officials to ensure that the convict is giving adequate medical treatment while in their custody.

The One Count Charge Against The Convict Reads: “that you Bilikisu Lawal, Female, adult, Nigerian, of Odofin, Ebute Onijegi Iworo, Badagry area of Lagos state, on or about 2nd day of November, 2022, at Odofin, Ebute Onijegi Iworo, Badagry area of Lagos state, within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, without lawful authority dealt in 5.0 Kg of marijuana otherwise known as Cannabis Sativa a narcotic drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin, LSD by which act you committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 laws of the Federation of Nigeria.”