Three Bolivia nationals were on Tuesday sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by a Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos for unlawful production of controlled drug known as Methamphetamine, a drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin and LSD.
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, had on Monday, November 21, 2016, convicted the three Bolivians: Reuben Ticono Jorge, Yhugo Chavaez Moreno, and Yerko Artunduago Dorado after they had pleaded guilty to two count charge on drug related offences leveled against them by the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Their conviction was followed after the NDLEA’s prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, had the review of the facts of charge on the said day.
During the review of the facts of the charge, the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim had tendered several evidences, which includes Certificate of test analysis, drug analysis reports, their statements which were written in English and Portuguese, and other incriminating evidence, which were admitted as exhibits by the court.
However, Justice Oguntoyinbo reserved judgement against the Bolivians till Tuesday, following the plea by their lawyer, Chief Benson Ndakara, to be lenient in sentencing them due to the period they had spent in detention.
In pleading for lighter jail term for the convicts, Chief Ndakara had orally cited some legal authorities, which the court told him to supply before proceeding in pronouncing the jail term.
Justice Oguntoyinbo, said the jail terms prescribed by the NDLEA Act for count one of the charge is life imprisonment without prescribing minimum sentence.
The judge also stated that the prescribed jail term for second count is 25 years without prescribing minimum jail terms.
Consequently, Jusice Oguntoyinbo sentence the three Bolivians each to six years on each counts.
She ordered that the jail terms to run concurrently, and it will start counting from February 2, 2012, when they were arrested.
The convicted Bolivians alongside two Nigerians; Basil Ikechukwu Uzoka and Uba Ubachukwu Collins, were arraigned before the court on a six count-charge bordering on unlawful production and storage of the controlled drug.
While the convicted Bolivians alongside the Nigerians were only charged on two count charges of unlawful production of controlled drug known as Methamphetamine, and unlawfully used a property located at 38, Daily Times Estate, Satellite Town, for the production of the said controlled drug.
One of the Nigerians, Basil Ikechukwu is facing a three counts charge of allowing the said property to be used for the storing of unlawful controlled drug, aiding and financing the convicted Bolivians in production of the drug.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
While Uba Ubachukwu Collins, was alleged to have allow the said property to be used for the production of the drug, and also engage in distribution of the controlled drug called Acetone.
The alleged offences are contrary to sections 20(1)(a), 12, 14(b), 20(1)(g) and 20(1)(f), and punishable under sections 20(2)(a), and 20(2)(b) of the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency Act, Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Earlier, lawyer to Uba Ubachukwu, Collins, the fourth accused person in the charge, Mr. Makin Nesaya, informed the court of the demise of his client through an affidavit he deposed to.
But the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim, urged the court to discountenance the affidavit on the ground that such affidavit was not supported with any doctor’s report certifying that the accused person was dead.
Justice Oguntoyinbo, did not admit the affidavit as exhibit but ordered the lawyer to attach a death certificate report from either government or private hospital indicating that the accused person is dead indeed.
However, the trial of the fourth accused person, Basil Ikechukwu Uzoka, has been adjourned till December 12, 2016.