Man, 22, Bags 6mths Imprisonment For Paddling Marijuana
A 22 year-old man, Tunde Morakinyo, has been convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment, for unlawful dealing in 600 grams of marijuana, also called Indian hemps, by a Federal High Court, Lagos.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, who presided over the court, convicted and sentenced the Indian hemp hawker, after pleaded guilty to a count charge offence of unlawful dealing in the banned ‘weed’, made against him by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), when he was arraigned before the court on Wednesday.
Arraigning the convict, NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Fingere Dinneys, told the court that the defendant was arrested by his agency’s operatives, February 5, 2020, along ljora-Badia Railway Line, Lagos, where he was selling the prohibited weed, without lawful authority.
He told the court that during the defendant’s arrest, he was found in possession of 600 grams of the prohibited weed.
Dinneys also told the court that the offence committed by the defendant is contrary to and punishable under section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation 2004.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him. The development, which made the prosecutor to told the court to pronounce him guilty as charged and convict him accordingly.
However, the defendant’s counsel, Bolanle Kolawole, in her allocutor, urged the court to tamper justice with mercy, in sentencing her client.
In pleading for mercy, Kolawole urged the court to take judicial notice, that her client did not waste precious time of court, as he pleaded guilty to the charge against him. Adding that he has became remorseful since he was arrested and being in NDLEA custody since February 5, 2020, and promised not to be involve in any form of crimes.
Furthermore, the defendant’s lawyer, pleaded with the court to also put into consideration, the current pandemic ravaging the world, which she said may affect her client if given custodian sentence, she therefore asked the court for fine in lieu of custodian sentence. Adding that the defendant’s mother, whom she said is a widow is suffering from psychology trauma since the defendant was arrested.
Upon submissions by parties, the judge asked the prosecution, if the defendant had any record of previous conviction or criminal record. In response, the prosecutor said non to his knowledge’.
Consequently, Justice Aneke, while pronounced the defendant guilty as charged, sentenced him to six months imprisonment, commencing from the day of his arrest on February 5, 2020.
Justice Aneke, however, fined the convict in the sum in N50, 000, as option to custodian sentence.
Charge against the convict reads: “That you, Tunde Morakinyo, Male, Adult on or about the 5th February, 2020 along ljora-Badia Railway Line, Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority, dealt in 600 Grammes of Marijuana otherwise known as Cannabis Sativa, a narcotic drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin and LSD contrary to and punishable under Section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation 2004”.