Freight Agent Jailed 5 Years For Multiple Hard Drugs Exportation

A 55 year-old, Oyeyemi Abiodun Sharafadeen, has been convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment, by a Lagos Federal High Court, for exporting several banned substances.

Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke, who presided over the court, gave the freight agent, the jail terms, after he pleaded guilty to three count charges of unlawful export of the banned substances, made against him by the men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

NDLEA prosecutor, Augustine Nwagu, had told the court that the convicted freight agent was arrested on January 9, 2023, with the banned substances, which he intend to export to Dubai, a United Arab Emirates (UAE), at Export Shed at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Nwagu listed 900 grammes of Tramadol 225mg; 100 grammes of Rohypnol and grammes of Ecstasy, all Psychotropic substance similar to Heroin and Cocaine, which the convict was arrested with.

He told the court that the offence commited by the convict, are contrary to contrary to section 20(1)(a) and punishable under section 20(2)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The convict pleaded guilty to the charges.

Based on his plea, the prosecutor urged the court to convict and sentence him in accordance with Sections 247 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015. 

While also urged the court to allow his agency, to destroyed the seized drugs, at the expiration of the appeal period to the judgment.

But convict’s lawyer, Uche Okoronkwo, in his allucutor, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client. He urged the court to consider the convict’s timely guilty plea to the charge, without wasting precious time of the court.

Uche told the court that the convict in December 2022, in the course of his business, freight a package given to him by customer to Dubai, but did not know the content.

He told the court that his client admitted being negligent.
  The lawyer told the court that Justice of the court is not only punitive but reformatory. He cited section 311(3) of ACJA 2015, which he said the court after conviction is required to take into account all mitigating factors in considering an option of fine.
He said: it is trite that where a law is silence on fine, the court has the discretion to impose a fine. Fine is a discreetly power of the court.”

He therefore urged the court in lieu of the jail terms.

Justice Aneke in his judgment sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment in each of the counts.

The judge however gave him an option of N5 million in lieu of the jail terms, while also ordered him to perform a 100-day community service.

The judge also ordered that the confiscated drugs be destroyed if there is no appeal against the judgment after the period prescribed by the law.