A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced a 58-year-old Congolese, Zitou Mampouya, to four years in prison for smuggling 27 kg of Tramadol, a restricted drug.
Delivering judgment, Justice Ayokunle Faji, held that the menace of drug trafficking, had become rampant in the society, adding that same has damaged the nation’s image.
The court held that it did not believe that the convict was ignorant of the content of the package, having confessed that it was the fourth time he wanted to export same before he was apprehended.
“Consequently, I shall sentence the convict to four years imprisonment, starting from April, 2018.
“I also order that the convict shall be deported back to Congo at the completion of his jail term,” the court held.
The convict was arrested on March 23, during the outward clearance of goods at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) export shed, of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
He was arraigned by The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on a two count-charge of conspiracy and unlawful exportation of the said narcotics.
He pleaded guilty.
The offence, the NDLEA said, contravened the provisions of sections 11(b) and 14(b) of the NDLEA Act. Cap N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.
After his plea. the prosecutor, Mrs Juliana Iroabuchi, tendered exhibits before the court, which were admitted in evidence, and thereafter, she urged the court to convict the accused.
Meanwhile, Defence counsel, Chief Lilian Omotunde, in a plea for mercy on behalf of the accused, urged the court to temper justice with mercy for the convict, who she said was a foreigner with all his family in Congo.
According to the charge, the 58 years old convict committed the offence on March 23.
He was said to have been arrested at the NAHCO shed, during the outward clearance of cargoes and consignments to Congo, Brazaville.
He was accused of engaging in the delivery and exportation of 27kg of 120mg and 225mg capsules of Tramadol, a psychotropic substance listed in the Second Schedule of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.