Friday, December 2, 2016 4:00 pm
A Federal High Court,sitting in Lagos on Friday sentenced an AIDS patient, Adeyemo Babatunde Akanni, a.k.a. Adeyanju Williams, to two years imprisonment, for attempting to export 1.595 kilograms of Heroin to France.
The convict was arrested with the drug by operatives of National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the departure hall of Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on October 1, 2014.
He was nabbed during an outward clearance of Airfrance Airline Flight to Paris.
He was charged to court on one count charge of unlawful exportation of banned drug, and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, while proving the case against the convict, called five witnesses and tendered several evidences, which includes: the seized banned drug, which the convict excreted, his international travelling passport, his confessional statements, the results of forensic test of the drug, €800 Euro, and many others.
The documents were admitted as exhibits in the court.
At the resumed trial of the matter on on Friday, the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim, informed the court of the convict’s intention to change his plea.
This was corroborated by the convict’s lawyer, Chief (Mrs.) Lilian Omotunde.
Upon, the convict’s change of plea, the prosecutor further tendered five more statements of the convict, which were also admitted as exhibits.
After tendering the evidence, the NDLEA’s prosecutor urged the court to pronounce the convict as guilty as charged.
He said: “My Lord, in view of the accused change of plea, coupled with the extra five statements of the accused. I urged the court to go ahead and pronounce him guilty as charged”.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, pronounced the convict guilty as charged on one count charge of unlawful attempt of exporting of 1.595 kilograms of Heroine.
However, the convict’s Lawyer,Chief Lilian Omotunde, in her plea for mercy urged the court to tamper Justice with mercy in sentencing her client.
Chief Omotunde told the court that the convict, was a first time offender, who has shown a lots of remorse since his predicament.
She further told the court that her client has been consistent in coming to court despite his failing health.
In support of her claim of her client’s health challenges, the defence lawyer tendered a medical certificate dated May 13, 2016, endorsed by one Dr. Fatoki of Lagos State General Hospital, Ikeja.
Omotunde also cited Section 416(2)(D) and 420 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, while urging the court to impose fine on the convict as alternative to sending him to prison.
Delivering judgment in the Criminal Charge, Justice Aneke sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment stating from today.
The judge also ordered that the €800 Euro seized from the convict should be forfeited and paid into the account of federal government of Nigeria.
He also said the seized drug should be destroyed if there is no Appeal Against the judgement within the stipulated time.