Tanzania court jails Nigerian 30 years for drug trafficking

Christian Ugbechi

Tanzania’s High Court for Economic Corruption and Organized Crime Division has sentenced Nigerian, Christian Ugbechi to 30 years imprisonment for trafficking in 56 pellets of Heroin Hydrochloride, narcotic drugs, weighing 947.57 grams.

Tanzania’s Daily News reported that Judge Sirilius Matupa imposed the sentence on Friday after convicting Ugbechi of the offence.

The judge said he was satisfied by the evidence produced by 11 prosecution witnesses, led by State Attorney Constantine Kakula.

Before Ugbechi was sentenced, the trial attorney requested the court to punish him severely considering the seriousness of the offence committed and that stiff sentence should deter others from committing similar crime.

Presenting mitigating factors, Advocate Jeremiah Ntobesya, for the convict, requested the court for mercy, in particular, reducing the punishment for his client as he has a family, notably a wife and children, who all depend on him.

During the trial, the prosecution told the court that on January 28, 2018 at Julius Nyerere International Airport within Ilala District in Dar es Salaam, the Ugbechi was found trafficking in the narcotic drugs.

A police officer, Detective Corporal Peter at the airport narrated that he recorded the statement of the accused, and that during interrogation he told him that he had swallowed some pellets of narcotic drugs.

The witness testified that he kept the accused in remand to enable him excrete the pellets, and that by January 30, 2018, at around 4:30pm, he discharged 23 pellets. Corporal Peter also testified that they took such exhibits and other pellets found in a bag and sent them to the government’s chief chemistry for analysis