A 29 years old man, Abdulhamid Umatedele, today, told a Lagos Federal High Court, that he became a hard drug hawker, after his motorcycle, popularly called Okada, was confiscated by the official of Lagos State Task Force.

Abdulhamid stated this while making allucutor ‘plea for mercy’, after he was convicted by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, on offences bordering on unlawful dealing in hard drugs made against him by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convict, who claimed to have being an Okada rider for over 13 years, since in came to Lagos from Borno State, said he was given the drugs to sell by a friend as a form of assistance, after his motorcycle was confiscated, to enable him make some money.

The convict was arrested before Justice Awogboro led court, on five counts charge.

The prosecutor, Mr. Lambert Nor, told the court that the court was arrested with the banned the drugs on October 17, 2022, at Odobo Street, Oke-Ira, Ogba, Lagos. 

Drugs found in his possession during the arrest includes: 41 grams of Cannabis Sativa (popularly called Marijuana); 20 grams of Tramadol; 1 gram of Methamphetamine; 5 grams of Rohypnol; and 1 gram of Molly.

The convict’s acts, according to the prosecutor, contravened section 11 (c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and punishable under the same Act.

The convict instantly pleaded guilty to the charge.

Upon his plea, the prosecutor after tendering the seized drugs with his confessional statement and other, which were admitted by the court as exhibits, urged the court to convict and sentence him in according with the Provisions of law that he was charged with.

The convict after narrating to court what led him to drug business, while assuring that he will never engaged in an unwholesome act, pray the court to jail him if he is brought before the court for such act in the future.

Also, his lawyer, Prosper Ojakovo, pleaded with the judge, urged the court to consider his client’s timely plea of guilty to the charges against him and his remorseful act, to give pronounce a non custodial sentence in lieu of imprisonment.

However, Justice Awogboro in her judgment, sentenced him to four months imprisonment.

The judge ordered that the term of imprisonment should commenced from when he was arrested.

In related development, another drug hawker, Abdullahi Aliyu, was convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment by the court, for unlawful dealing in banned substances.

The 19 years old convict, was given the jail terms, by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, after he pleaded guilty to the four count-charge of unlawful dealing in the banned drugs slammed on him by the NDLEA.

The convict, who claimed to be from Bauchi State, the prosecutor, Mr. Lambert Nor, said was arrested with the banned drugs, at Alaba rago market, Ojo LGA, Lagos State, on October 13, 2022.

Mr. Nor told the court that the convict was arrested with 1.6 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg; 200 grams of Tramadol 200mg: 1.2kg of Tramadol 100mg, 32 grams of Rophynol and 2 kilograms of Diazepam.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the convict, contravened section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N.30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

The convict through his lawyer, Prosper Ojakovo, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing him. His lawyer, in particular, asked the court to give his client a non-custodian sentence.

However, Justice Awogboro, in her judgment, sentenced the convict to nine months imprisonment without an option of fine.

Also, a 50 year-old woman, Blessing Mejulu, has been convicted and given 600 hours community service, by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, of a Lagos Federal High Court.

The mother of three, was ordered to perform the community service, after she pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful dealing in 4.8 Kilograms of Cannabis Sativa, a banned weed, also called Marijuana and 33. 4 grammes of Methamphetamine, a substance similar to Cocaine and heroin.

The convict, according to the NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Lambert Nor, was arrested with the prohibited substances on November 13, 2022, at Oko-Olowo Beach, Eleko, Ibeju, Lagos.

Nor told the court that the woman’s actions were contrary to and punishable under section 11 (c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

The convict, despite pleaded guilty to the charge, however denied being the owner of the drugs.

She told the court that the drugs belongs to the indigenes of the area, who sits around her shop where she sells provisions.

She also told the court that the owner of the drugs dropped it around her shop when the NDLEA operatives stormed and raided the area. Adding that during the raid, the NDLEA operatives also searched her shop where they recovered N162, 900, contribution saved with her by a group.

His lawyer, Prosper Ojakovo, in his allucutor, corroborated the convict’s claims, and pleaded with the court to be merciful to his client, whom he described as a victim of ‘circumstance’.

He told the court that it was due to his client’s inability to raise money to proof her case that made her to admit commiting the offence.

He therefore pleaded with the court to consider a non-custodian sentence as her punishment for the offence. 

On the money recovered from her shop, the lawyer urged the court to allow owners of the money to appear before the court to prove the ownership.

However, the prosecutor, urged the court to forfeit the money to the federal government of Nigeria.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro in her judgment, sentenced the convict to 600 hours community service, while ordered that the sum of N162, 900, 000 be forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria.