Justice Ayotunde Faji, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday handed down a nine-year jail term to Diarra Saidou for attempting to export 355 grams of cocaine to China.
Luck ran out on Saidou on August 20, 2016 when he was nabbed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) during an outward clearance of passengers into Ethiopia Airline from Addis-Ababa to Hong Kong.
Saidou was dragged before the court sometime in 2016 and admitted to bail. But he jumped bail while on trial and absconded. He was rearrested in November 2018 and his bail was revoked.
The prosecutor, Jonathan Igwubor, told the court the convict was arrested with the banned drugs which he ingested.
Igwubor called several witnesses and tendered many exhibits that included the seized drug, a Mali International passport, Saidou’s conventional statement, result of the laboratory test of the drugs and some foreign currencies
Delivering judgement on the charge, Justice Faji said, “The prosecution has been able to establish and prove the charge against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt. Consequently, the defendant is hereby convicted as charged.”
The defence lawyer, Mr O. Kobani, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Kobani told the court that the convict was the breadwinner of his family and that during the period he was not in court, he was attending to some family issues. The counsel added that during the period his client was remanded, he had become remorseful.
The judge said, “I have carefully listened to the allocutor of the counsel. The convict is hereby sentenced to nine years imprisonment.”