By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday convicted and sentenced Ghanaian, Elisha Sokpor to three years imprisonment, for smuggling 10 kilograms of Tramadol tablets and injection out of Nigeria.
Justice Aneke jailed Sokpor after he pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of unlawful dealing in the said banned drugs, brought against him by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
According to NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Ichakpa Oigoga, the foreigner, who is a resident of Agbozume Volta Region of Ghana, was arrested on October 15, 2020, at Nigerian Airforce Military checking point, located at Ahanve-Owode Area of Badagry Local Government Lagos State, while attempting to smuggle the drugs enrouté Benin Republic into Ghana.
Ichakpa told the court that the convict was caught with one kilograms of Tramadol tablet and nine kilograms of Tramadol injection named Tramadol Hydrochloride.
The convict’s act according to the prosecution is contrary to and punishable under Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The convict did not deny the allegations as he pleaded guilty when the charge was read to him.
Following his guilty plea, Ichakpa urged the court to convict and sentence him as charged.
However, counsel to the convict, Godwin Okaka, pleaded with the court to be lenient as his client is a first time offender and a victim of circumstances.
Okaka, told the court that it was a nurse, who is now on the run that begged the convict, to assist her in carrying the drugs to Ghana, not knowing that it was a prohibited item.
Okaka therefore urged the court to tamper justice with mercy, by not giving the maximum punishment for the offences.
In considering Okaka’s plea, Justice Aneke, said he is mindful of the negative effect of the hard drugs in our society, he consequently sentenced the convicted Ghanaian to three years imprisonment on each count.
The judge also held that the terms of the sentence shall run concurrently, starting from the day of his arrest.