An Abuja Federal High Court on Friday sentenced a 36-year-old man, Callistus Chukwukelu, to life imprisonment for unlawful importation of cocaine weighing 1.47 kg into the country.
Chukwukelu was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on 1 January while returning from Sao-Polo, Brazil, via an Ethiopian Airline.
He was consequently arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials, who charged him under Section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act.
Chukwukelu had pleaded guilty to the charges and also pleaded with the court for leniency as his marriage was scheduled to take place this year.
Delivering judgment, Justice Adeniyi Ademola held that the law under which Chukwukelu was charged prescribed life imprisonment.
The judge, therefore, sentenced him without an option of fine.
“His plea of leniency is insufficient to dissuade the court from sentencing him to life imprisonment. Evidence from his international passport indicates that he is not a novice in the trade. The accused is, hereby, sentenced to life imprisonment accordingly,’’ Ademola said.
The convict had earlier claimed during his trial, that he took to the drug trade when his shop in Lagos, where he sold clothes, got burnt.
He had told the court that it was because he needed money to cater for his aged mother, dependents, relatives and his marriage, which was scheduled to hold this year.