Court Jails Widow For Unlawful Export Of 5.7kg Of Codeine

A widow, Adewunmi Taiwo Atinuke, was today, convicted by a Lagos Federal High Court, over unlawful exportation of 5.70 kilograms of Codeine.

The convicted widow, a resident of 35, Olatunji Street, Ojota, Lagos, was convicted by Justice Akintayo Aluko, after she pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful exportation of the prohibited drug, made against her by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convict according to the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, was arrested with the prohibited drugs on July 27, 2023, at Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO) Export Shed a Customs Point/Area of the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos, during the examination of cargoes to the United Kingdom (UK).

Abu told the court that the convict’s action, contravened section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under the same Act.

The widow pleaded guilty admitted committing the offence, and pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to her.

Upon he guilty plea, the court allowed the prosecutor to review the facts of the charge and tender all exhibits recovered, which were admitted by the court. 

The prosecutor thereafter urged the court to convict and sentence her in accordance with the sections of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, and section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.

But her lawyer, Chief Benson Ndakara in his allucutor, pleaded with the court told be lenient in sentencing his client.

Ndakara said: “She has not waste the time of the court, no criminal record, she is remorseful, she’s a widow with a son. 

She is a victim of circumstances.

“Upon the death of her husband, she lost her job, she started exporting good to UK, until there was a demand for cough syrup….

“It was at the point of export, when she realized that it was prohibited and she pulled it from the load 

“We urged the court to award monetary sentence on her and non-custodian sentence.

“We urged the court to grant our request and award monetary fine.

The prosecutor also confirmed to court that the convict has no evidence of previous conviction known to the NDLEA

The prosecutor also applied to court for the destruction of the drug exhibits after the period of appeal.

Justice Aluko in his judgment, after considering all mitigating factors in favour of the convict, sentenced her to six months imprisonment.

The judge however ordered her to pay a fine of N300, 000, in lieu of the jail-term. While also ordered the convict to perform a community service in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, for one week, two hour par day.

The judge also ordered the convict to provide a guarantor, who will To provide surety, who will pay a fine of N100, 000 should incase the convict escaped.