A 50 year-old man, Monday Obi, has been convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment, for smoking cannabis sativa, popularly called Indian Hemp, on the streets of Ikoyi, by a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The convict was given the jail terms by the court presided over by Justice Ayotunde Faji, after he pleaded guilty to a two count-charge of unlawful possession and dealing in the banned substance, made against him by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), last Friday.
Prior to the court’s judgment on the convict, the prosecutor, Juliana Imaobong-Ikoabuchi told Justice Faji that her agency had once arrested the convict on January 19, 2018, with 240 grams of Cannabis Sativa, but released without being prosecuted after he was counselled on the danger associated with taking the harmful weed.
Juliana further told the court that the convict failed to heed to the warning, as he was again arrested on January 12, 2019, on Queen Street, now Oyinkan Abayomi Street, where the Court is sited with 300 grams of the banned weed.
The prosecutor, while urging the court to pronounce the convict guilty as charged, tendered the Indian hemp weighing 240 grammes as exhibit, which was admitted by the court.
The prosecutor also told the court that the offence committed by the convict contravene sections 11 (c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
In sentencing the convict, Justice Ayokunle Faji said: “Obi who had earlier been arrested, but was released after warning was given a second chance to repent, but refused to change. This shows that the convict is an unrepentant.
“A strong message must be sent out there for the type of punishment that awaits the likes of Obi that crime does not pay. Obi was said to have started smoking at the age of 36 and later abandoned his family due to drug addiction.
“Violent crime in our society which has continued to be on the increase and constitute great danger to the public can be linked to hard drug, adding that what more, the convict was arrested on Queens Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos close to the Federal High Court.
“Consequently, the convict is hereby sentence to two years imprisonment”.
The two count one of the charge against the convict reads: “that you, Monday Obi, on the 19th of January, 2018 at Queen’s Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, unlawfully dealt in 240 grammes of cannabis sativa, a drug similar to cocaine , Heroin and LSD and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 11 (c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The second count reads: “that you Monday Obi on or about 12th day of January 2019 at the same place without lawful authority dealt in 300 grammes of cannabis sativa otherwise called Indian Hemp thereby committed an offence punishable under the same law”.