A Lagos Federal High Court on Tuesday sentenced three Bolivian citizens to six years imprisonment for dealing in illicit drugs. The convicts are Reuben Jorge, Yhugo Moreno and Yerko Dorado.
They were sentenced by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, who affirmed their guilty plea to the two counts pressed against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The convicts had been in detention since February 3, 2013 when they were arrested by operatives of the NDLEA at Daily Times Estate, Satellite Town, Lagos, the base from which they engaged themselves in unlawful production of Ephedrine and Methamphetamine.
The convicts were said to have been housed by their Nigerian accomplices between November 2011 and February 2012 that they operated before they were caught.
The NDLEA had told the judge that the foreigners violated Section 22 (a) of the NDLEA Act and were liable to be jailed for life or imprisoned for not less than 25 years.
But in her judgment on Tuesday, Justice Oguntoyinbo said what the law prescribed was a maximum or 25 years but that a judge could, based on his discretion, impose a lesser jail term.
She therefore sentenced the convicts to six years on each counts. She said the sentence would run concurrently and would start from February 3, 2013 when they were arrested.
Justice Oguntoyinbo held, “It is, therefore, in the light of Section 22(a) and Section 12 of the NDLEA Act, that these three defendants, having been found guilty and convicted of the offences alleged in counts one and two of the charge (sheet) dated the 18th day of February, 2013, are now sentenced on count one to a period of six prison years and on count two, to a prison period of six years.
“Both sentences shall run concurrently and shall be calculated from the date the defendants were first arrested, which is the 3rd day of February 2013.
“The defendants have benefited from the commitment of their counsel. Both defendants and the NDLEA have a right of appeal.”
Following the judgment, the three convicted foreigners jubilated outside the courtroom where they hugged one another and posed for a snap shot by this correspondent.
Source: The Punch