Court Sends Marijuana Exporter To 2 Years Imprisonment 

The Convicted Obiorah, When He was Arrested

Justice Peter Lifu of a Lagos Federal High Court, has Sentenced Obiorah Chigozie Samuel, to two years, for exporting cannabis sativa, a prohibited ‘weed’, to the United States of America (USA).

Justice Lifu sent the indian hemp exporter to jail, on Friday, after he pronounced him guilty of charges of unlawful exportation banned substance, made against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), upon his change of plea.

NDLEA had earlier arraigned the convict before the court, December 5, 2023, on a four-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession of 3.150 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa and exportation of same from Nigeria to united Kingdom.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges. And he was granted bail on December 8, 2023, with some terms, and the court ordered the  prosecution to do the verification.

But on january 30, 2024, the defendant changed his plea, and pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Based on his guilty plea, on February 6, 2024, prosecutor, Mrs.Juliana Imaobong Iroabuchi, tendered 12 exhibits, which included the defendant’s confessional statements, bulk of the seized prohibited drug, his handsets, and others.

Upon tendering the exhibits, which were admitted by the court, the prosecutor, Imaobong Iroabuchi, urged court to convict the defendant, convicted the defendant as charged.

However, the convict’s lawyer, in his allucutor, pleaded for leniency on behalf of the convict on the ground that his a first time offender, who has became remorseful of his action. And that he had promised not to engage in any criminal acts.

The counsel therefore urged the court to give the convict an option of fine in lieu of the custodian sentence.

Opposing the counsel’s plea for leniency on the convict’s behalf, the prosecutor told the court that convict, is an unrepentant criminal, who did not pleaded guilty at first  instance, and that his change of plea is an after thought.

The prosecutor also objected to option of fine, as requested by the counsel, saying that it will send a wrong  signal to the society at large. And that both the Nigeria and British governments have entered into an agreement to fight the drug war.

Upon listening to parties submissions, Justice Lifu, sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment on count one to four.

The judge however, ordered the convict to pay fine option of N500, 000,00 on count one to three, and to serve a two years jail-term and pay N500,000, 00 on count four.

Justice Lifu ordered that the jail-term shall run concurrently and the fine option to run consecutively.

Upon connection and sentenced of the convict, the prosecutor urged the court to order final forfeiture of a silver colour Toyota Camry car with Anambra State registration number; NSH -700-HA; two Samsung phones; and a Nokia phone, which were earlier  forfeited in the interim, be finally forfeited to the Nigeria government.

She also urged the court to release the drug exhibit to the NDLEA for destruction, if there is no appeal against the judgment, after the stipulated period.

The 39 year old convicted drug exporter, who resides at 8, Doctor KC Emmanuel Street Bucknor, Isheri, Lagos, according to the NDLEA had on September 15, 2023, conspired with one Blessing Collins also known as Don Chucks, who resides in United Kingdom; and One Kingsley and Ikenna Okoli (who were said to be at large) to commit the crimes.

The convict and others were said to have concealed the drug inside cocoyam powder flour, and further concealed in the silver colour Toyota Camry.

The offences according to the prosecutor, contravened sections 11 (b) and 14 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap N. 30 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. And punishable under the same Act.