By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has sentenced one Anthony Ejiro to 10 years’ imprisonment for illegal possession of 8,241.9 kg of Indian hemp.
Ejiro of Old Kakau Village, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state, was arrested on February 7, 2015, and arraigned before Justice Evelyn Anyadike on April 8, 2015.
He was charged for illegal possession of 780.5 bags of Indian hemp, weighing 8,241.9 kg, by the prosecution counsel of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Toryila Atserhegh.
Atserhegh had told the court that the offence is punishable under Section 11d of the NDLEA Act 2004.
Delivering her judgment, Thursday, Anyadike said that the NDLEA counsel has proved his case beyond reasonable doubt, adding that the accused himself has confessed to have committed the crime in his confessional statement.
“Not only that, the prosecution witnesses’ testimony corroborated the evidence before this honorable court, “she added.
Counsel to the accused, Mr P.Y. Garba, pleaded for leniency on the ground that the accused was a first time offender, and that he has aged parents and a family of his own.
But Atserhegh pleaded with the court to take into cognisance the quantity of the drugs involved, while considering its sentencing, and the negative effect it could have had on the society, if NDLEA had not intervened.
The judge considered the prosecution counsel’s concern and sentenced Ejiro to 10 years’ imprisonment with no option of fine.