The Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday sentenced one Ufoka Ikechukwu-Francis to three -year imprisonment for trafficking 1.183 kg of cocaine.
Ikechuckwu-Francis was arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The convict, who was arrested while returning from São Paulo, Brazil, on May 25, 2015, clocked 33 years on February 2.
He was arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Ademola in 2015 and pleaded guilty to the offence.
Following Ademola’s arrest by the Department of State Security (DSS), the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, transferred the case to Justice Binta Nyako.
When re-arraigned before Justice Nyako on Thursday, he maintained his guilty plea.
His counsel, Obiora Ilo pleaded with the court to show leniency and mercy to the accused person.
Ilo said the defendant had shown remorse by pleading guilty to the offence in order not to stress the court by wasting time on investigation.
“The heart of my lord is the fountain of mercy. As my lord can see, it is his remorse that is making him cry in the dock.
“He never intended to tarnish the image of the country, it is just unfortunate that some unscrupulous elements took advantage of his naivety.
“All we ask is that the court should tamper justice with mercy as the defendant is a first time offender,” Ilo said.
The prosecuting counsel, Mrs. S.I. Mark, had asked the court to convict the defendant following his guilty plea.
She tendered exhibits, including the cocaine, Brazilian currency, flight ticket and the defendant’s international passport.