By Lukman Olabiyi
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has sentenced three Bolivians to 12 years imprisonment for unlawful production of Methamphetamine, a drug similar to cocaine and heroin.
The convicts are: Reuben Ticono Jorge, Yhugo Chavaez Moreno, and Yerko Artunduago Dorado.
On Monday, November 21, 2016, the court convicted the three Bolivians after they pleaded guilty to two drug-related offences leveled against them by the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
They were convicted after NDLEA’s prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, reviewed facts of the charges, on the said day.
During a review of the charges, Ibrahim tendered several evidence, including Certificate of Test Analysis, drug analysis reports, statements written in English and Portuguese, among others, which were admitted as exhibits by the court.
However, Justice Oguntoyinbo reserved judgement till yesterday, following their counsel’s plea, Chief Benson Ndakara, that the court to be lenient in sentencing them due to the period they had spent in detention.
Delivering judgment, Justice Oguntoyinbo said the jail terms prescribed by the NDLEA Act for count one of the charge was life imprisonment without prescribing minimum sentence.
The judge also stated that the prescribed jail term for the second count was 25 years, without prescribing minimum jail terms.
Consequently, Jusice Oguntoyinbo sentenced the three Bolivians to six years, on each counts respectively.
She ordered that the jail terms run concurrently “and it will start counting from February 2, 2012, when they were arrested.”
The convicted Bolivians, alongside two Nigerians; Basil Ikechukwu Uzoka and Uba Ubachukwu Collins, were arraigned and re-arraigned before the court, on a six count-charge bordering on unlawful production and storage of the controlled drug.
The convicted Bolivians, alongside the Nigerians, were charged on two count charges of unlawful production of controlled drug known as Methamphetamine and unlawfully using a property at Satellite Town, for the production of the said controlled drug. Ikechukwu pleaded not guilty to the charge while Collins allegedly allowed the said property to be used for the production of the drug.