A Lagos Federal High Court, today convicted and sentenced a 49 year-old man, Ariyibi Ahmed Olaseinde, to five years imprisonment, for attempting to illegally export 11.5 kilograms of Cocaine to Saudi Arabia.

Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke convicted and sentenced the drug trafficker, after pleaded guilty to the two counts charge of conspiracy and illegal export of the drug made against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convict, according to the prosecutor, Mr. Augustine Nwagu, was arrested with the drug, on February 20, 2023, at the Screening Hall of Terminal 11 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, during the outward clearance of passengers on Qatar Airways flight to Medina, Saudi Arabia via Doha.

The prosecutor told the court that the convicted conspired with one Jeleel Badmus, now at large, to commit the crimes.

The prosecutor told the court that the convict during interrogation, said he was commissioned by Jeleel Badmus (now at large) to traffick the banned substance on the promise of being paid $1,500 USD and that he had been paid $300 as part of the money promised.

He told the court that the criminal acts of the convict, contravened Sections 14(b) and 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The convict pleaded guilty to the charges after it was read to him.

Following his guilty plea, the prosecutor, Mr. Nwagu, reviewed the facts of the crime, as well tendered several exhibits which were admitted by the court.

Among the exhibits tendered by the prosecutor includes: the seized drug, his two confessional statements and his two ECOWAS/Nigeria International passports and $300 USD.

The prosecutor thereafter urged the court to convict and sentence him according to the sections of the NDLEA Act he was charged with.

The convict’s lawyer, Chief Lilian Omotunde, in her allucutor, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing her client.

Chief Omotunde, particularly urged the court to give her client an option of fine in lieu of custodian sentence, saying the the convict is a first time offender, and for not wasting precious time of the court and prosecution.

Justice Aneke in her judgment, after considering the lawyer allucutor, sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment.

The judge however ordered the convict to pay the sum of N5 million in lieu of the jail-term. 

The judge also ordered the convict to perform 150 hours community service in addition to the fine option. While also ordered that the two traveling passports and the sum of $300 USD be forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria.