Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos, today, convicted and sentenced a Lebanese drugs trafficker, Charbel Chalouhi, to six months imprisonment for unlawful dealing in 1.2 grams of cocaine.
Justice Oweibo gave the jail terms after the Lebanese had struck a plea bargain agreement with the prosecuting agency, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The convict was first arraigned before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel sometimes in October, 2018, after he was arrested at his residence, at 18, flat BB Simon Akinolu street, Victoria Island, on September 10, 2018, for trafficking in the said banned drug.
He was arraigned before the court on a count charge of unlawful dealing on the said hard drug.
The offence which according to the prosecutor, Mr. Jerry Aernan, was contrary to and punishable under section 11(d) of the NDLEA Act.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge. And following the plea of his counsel, Mr. Benson Ndakara, for his bail, which was granted by the court in various terms.
However, upon the transfer of Justice Ayo-Emmanuel, the convict’s case file was inherited by Justice Oweibo.
At the resumed trial of the convict today, his counsel, Ndakara told the court that his client wishes to change his plea.
Ndakara said the decision of his client to change his plea was premised on a plea bargain agreement reached with the prosecuting agency.
Ndakara’s position was confirmed by the prosecutor, Mr. Aernan.
Following the consensus of prosecutor and defence counsel, Justice Oweibo admitted the plea bargain agreement and consequently sentenced the convict to six months imprisonment.
The judge however gave the convict an option of N200, 000, in lieu of the jail terms.
Justice Oweibo also ordered that the international passport of the convict be released to him upon observing the court judgment. While also ordered that the drug recovered from to convict’s possession be confiscated by the NDLEA.