The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said nine Ghanaian nationals have been sentenced to an 8-year prison term each, for smuggling cannabis into Nigeria.
The NDLEA disclosed that the Ghanaians who attempted to bring 10,843.95kg of cannabis into Nigeria were on Friday, October 14, 2022, convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison each.
The agency's Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said the convicts were initially arrested by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and transferred to NDLEA for further investigation and prosecution. After the investigations, they were arraigned with charge number FHC/L/292C/2021.
Delivering his ruling in the matter on Friday, Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court, Lagos convicted the Ghanaians of conspiracy and dealing in cannabis and thereafter sentenced each of them to eight years in prison.
The convicts are Victor Wuddah; Freeman Gazul; Adotete Joseph; Sottie Moses; Sottie Stephen; Christian Tette; Kanu Okonipa; Daniel Koyepti; and Kanu Natte.
Babafemi also said the anti-narcotics agency arrested a pregnant nursing mother and a 200-level university student among the 28 persons arrested with 9,437.6 kilogrammes of cannabis and 138,053 tablets of pharmaceutical opioids among others by its operatives during interdiction operations.
According to him, the suspects were arrested across 12 states namely Yobe, Ondo, Edo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He added that in Abuja, operatives on Saturday, October 15, 2022, stormed a village known as Chukuku, which is about 10 kilometres from Gwagwalada where they raided a large cannabis warehouse.
"A total of 510 jumbo bags of the illicit substance weighing 5, 640kg were recovered from the store and a nursing mother in charge, Sa’adatu Abdullahi, 35, was arrested.
"In Yobe state, operatives intercepted 48kg of cannabis in Buni Yadi, they also raided a location in Potiskum where they recovered 56 blocks (31kg) from two suspects: Mohammed Mamuda and a married pregnant woman, Hauwa Haruna.
"Furthermore, at least, 99 bags of cannabis and three bags of its seeds weighing 1,286kg were seized on Thursday 13th Oct when operatives raided a location in Ogbese area of Ondo state, while another raid at Umukpe forest in Uhunmonde council area of Edo state led to the seizure of 410kg of the same substance in addition to a motorcycle, two Dane guns and the arrest of two suspects: Numga Anim, 30, and Friday Ebije, 50.
"Not less than 50 bags of C/S weighing
623kg were also recovered at Ekpom village in Igueben LGA with the arrest of the owner, Lucky Henry, 30, while another suspect, Ndidi Esegine, 52, was nabbed at Ugbodo forest, Ovia North East LGA with 266.8kgs C/S on Tuesday 11th Oct. Two days later, operatives stormed Uzebba forest in Owan West LGA to destroy four cannabis farms where two suspects: Ezekiel Raphael and Gideon Bassey were arrested with a total of 223.5kg processed C/S recovered," Babafemi said.