The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has convicted 149 drug dealers arrested by the Lagos State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in 2015 with three of the culprits sentenced to life imprisonment.
Acting Chairman of the NDLEA, Mrs. Roli Bode-George in a statement said those sentenced to life imprisonment had commenced their service with hard labour as others equally got stiffer punishment.
Moreover, she said one of the convicts will spend 25 years behind bars and another will spend 17 years in prison. Four others got 15 years each. Another four convicts were sentenced to 10 years each while 19 others got five years each.
She described the convictions as impressive and capable of discouraging people from drug trafficking.
“These convictions are strong enough to deter others from drug trafficking. This is highly impressive and motivating to the Agency for the time and material resources spent in arrest and prosecution of drug dealers”, she said.
NDLEA Lagos State commander Mr. SuleAliyu said that while 149 drug dealers were convicted in 2015, about 164 other cases were pending as at December 31, 2015.
“Apart from the 149 persons convicted, there are 164 pending cases in court. The command in 2015 also seized a total of 7,345.87kg of various narcotic drugs mainly cannabis which is commonly called hemp and arrested 531 suspected drug dealers comprising 507 males and 24 females,” Aliyu stated.
Those who got life sentence are AbiodunElemoro, 29, of Palm Church Street, Lagos Island, convicted on January 29, 2015 for being in possession of 30.5 grammes of cocaine.
Sule Ibrahim, 37, of MopoAlayo village OkunAjah Lagos, convicted October 20, 2015 for possessing 11.8kg of cannabis and Aluagwu Lawrence, 32, of IjuIshaga Lagos convicted December 9, 2015 for possessing 220 grammes of cannabis.
Similarly, AmaechiIgwe, 37, of Mile 12 Market, Lagos got 25 years imprisonment for dealing in 2.7 grammes of cocaine.
NDLEA Lagos State Command prosecuting counsel, Barrister Jeremiah Aernan said that the command surpassed its previous number of convictions in 2014.
“Winning 149 cases in a year is massive. This has surpassed the 123 convictions recorded in 2014. Although the work load is tasking as the only prosecutor in the command, I am glad with the quality convictions,” he said.
By Pita Ochai