Justice D. V. Agishi of the Federal High Court, Enugu Division, has sentenced two drug traffickers to 55 years in jail.
The convicts are Okafor Deborah Chidinma, a professional dancer, who was charged for conspiracy, trafficking and unlawful possession of 3.450 kilogrammes of amphetamine and Iheme Promise Onyemauchechukwu, who was charged with trafficking and unlawful importation of 9.975 kilogrammes of heroin. Okafor, who would have been paid $3,500 if she had succeeded in her trip to Malaysia, bagged 40 years jail term. She was convicted as charged and sentenced to 10 years each in counts one and two and 20 years in count three, making it a total of 40 years.
Iheme was convicted as charged and sentenced to 10 years in count one with a fine of N1 million and five years in count two with a fine of N500,000.
Speaking on the development, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, expressed satisfaction with the judgment, saying: “while this punishment is expected to correct the convicts, it will equally help to deter others from getting involved in drug trafficking.
"The agency commits huge resources in drug investigation, arrests and prosecution. Judgments like this will further lend credence to the nation’s anti-drug campaign.”
According to reports, Okafor was heading to Malaysia with amphetamine hidden inside the pockets of jeans trousers in her luggage.
Okafor, who hails from Imo State, said that she was promised $3,500 to export the illicit drugs to Malaysia. She added that she was broke and needed money.
“I am a dancer; I was broke and needed money. I have been approached on many occasions to smuggle drugs but I declined. I thought that I could earn some quick money in few days,” she stated.
Iheme, 27, who was recruited in Tanzania by a suspected drug cartel in East Africa, told investigators that he smuggled drugs because he was stranded.
“I used to sell phone accessories before I left the country. I wanted to go to Malaysia in search of job opportunities but I was stranded in Tanzania. That was how I met a Nigerian who gave me money and promised to assist me get back to Nigeria.
"He offered to give me some money to start my business. He later took me to Bujumbura, Burundi, where I was given the heroin hidden inside cosmetics,” he stated.