A Federal High Court in Lagos, South West Nigeria on Tuesday convicted and sentenced a mother of four to 10 years imprisonment for trafficking in cocaine.
The court convicted and sentenced the 56 years old woman, Owolabi Oluwayemisi Modinat, to the jail term, after she pleaded guilty to one count charge preferred against her by the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The convict had earlier pleaded guilty when she was first arraigned before the court, and maintained her plea when the matter came up today .
In urging the court to convict the mother of four, the NDLEA prosecutor, while reviewing the fact of the case, tendered the convict’s harmonized ECOWAS passport with number: 1808098653, an E-ticket and boarding pass as evidence.
Other evidence tendered by the prosecutor includes: three written statements of the convict, two request of scientific aid form, a drug analysing report, two evidence pouches, two transparent pouches containing bulk of the drug, two scientific report of the drug, and a sealed brown envelope with reference number:DEA/17/MM/013, which were admitted as exhibits
After tendering the evidence, coupled with the plea of the mother of four, the prosecutor urged the court to convict and sentence her accordingly.
Consequently, the presiding Judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, pronounced the convict guilty as charged.
The convict, in her plea for leniency through her lawyer, Morenike Ogunleye, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing her.
Ogunleye said: “My Lord, the convict is a first time offender, and she is sober of her action. She is a mother of four children, who single-handedly taking care of them, as she has separated from her husband.
“In sentencing her, I urged my lord to consider section 416(2)(b)(d) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015”.
In sentencing the convict, the judge asked the prosecutor, for the punishment for the crime committed as stipulated by the NDLEA Act, and the prosecutor said it is life imprisonment.
Justice Aikawa pronounced: “I have listened to the plea made on her behalf by the counsel, and also listened to the prosecutor that she has no record of crime.
I’m balancing, I have to consider both her plea and the what the law says about the crime.
“Consequently, I hereby sentence her to 10 years imprisonment, starting from the day of her arrest”.
In the charge marked FHC/L/301c/17, The convict was arrested on May 19, 2017, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, during outward clearance of Qatar Airways flight to Saudi Arabia, with 330 grammes of Cocaine, a narcotic drug.
The offence,committed by the convict 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.