Bricklayer Sentenced To Jail For Selling Indian Hemp To Prisoners

A Lagos State Federal High Court, has sentenced Rasheed Bolaji, a 31-year-old bricklayer, to two years imprisonment, for selling Indian Hemp in the Ikoyi custodial centre of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS).

The judge, Abimbola Awogboro sentenced Bolaji at the weekend following his guilty plea to a two-count charge of trafficking and unlawful dealing in 5.3 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa, brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Prosecution counsel M. I. Erondu, who reviewed the facts of the case, said Bolaji was arrested with the banned substance, which he was selling, on December 2, 2022, at the NCoS’ Ikoyi Centre.

According to Erondu, the offence contravened and was punishable under sections 11(b) and 11 (c) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.

Erondu prayed the court to sentence the bricklayer under sections 274(2) and 375 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

But Bolaji pleaded for mercy, saying it was the first time he was selling the banned weed. He promised not to engage in any crime if given a second chance.

Bolanle Kola Wole, Bolaji’s lawyer who told the court that the defendant was a bricklayer and pleaded for mercy in his sentence, also prayed the court to award an option of a fine instead of a custodial sentence.

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Nonetheless, Awogboro sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment without an option of a fine.

In a similar case, the judge also sentenced a father of five, Olusesi Yusuf, to 600 hours of community service, for illegal dealing and possession of some banned substances.

The 41-year-old, according to the prosecutor M. I. Erondu, was arrested on March 6, 2023, at Felix Ogaga Close, Aso Oke, Ajah in Lagos State, where he was selling the banned substances.

The banned drugs found on the convict when arrested, according to the prosecutor, included 15.5 grams of Cocaine; 14 grams of Indian hemp; and 14 grams of Swinol, a psychotropic substance.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences contravened sections 19 and 11(c) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.

Yusuf, an air conditioner repairer, pleaded guilty to the charge.

His lawyer, Oke Ojakovo, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy because Yusuf was a first-time offender, an air conditioner repairer with five children and a pregnant wife, adding that he was misled in selling the substances by his friends.

The lawyer told the court that the convict had learnt his lesson in the hard way. He prayed the court to award an option of a fine instead of a custodial sentence.

Awogboro however sentenced the convict to 600-hour community service. She ordered that all the substances recover from him be destroyed by the NDLEA.