NIGERIA: Two Drug Traffickers Sentenced To 55 Years In Prison
Deborah Okafor, 30, a professional dancer, was charged with conspiracy, trafficking and unlawful possession of 3.450kg of methamphetamine, while the other, Iheme Onyemauchechukwu, was charged with trafficking and unlawful importation of 9.975kg of heroin.
They were both arrested at the Enugu airport.
A statement by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said Okafor would have been paid the sum of $3,500 if she successfully made her trip to Malaysia.
Justice D. V. Agishi sentenced her to 10 years each in counts one and two and 20 years in count three making her sentence 40 years altogether.
The second convict, Onyemauchechukwu, 27, was charged with trafficking and unlawful importation of 9.975kg of heroin. He was sentenced to 10 years in count one with a fine of N1m and five years in count two with a fine of N500,000,000, making a total of 15 years.
Okafor reportedly hid 3.450kg of amphetamine inside the pockets of jean trousers in her luggage.
She told the court that she was broke and needed money. “I had been approached on many occasions to smuggle drugs but I declined. I thought that I could earn some quick money in few days,” she stated.
Onyemauchechukwu said he was recruited in Tanzania by a suspected drug cartel in East Africa. He told investigators that he smuggled drugs because he was stranded.
“I used to sell phone accessories before I left the country. I wanted to go to Malaysia in search of job opportunities but I was stranded in Tanzania. Then I met a Nigerian who gave me money and promised to assist me get back to Nigeria. He offered to give me some money to start up my business. He later took me to Bujumbura in Burundi where I was given 9.975kg of heroin hidden inside cosmetics,” he stated.
NDLEA Chairman,Ahmadu Giade, expressed satisfaction with the judgment.
He said, “While this punishment is expected to correct the convicts, it will equally help to deter others from getting involved in drug trafficking. The agency commits huge resources in drug investigation, arrests and prosecution. Judgment like this will further lend credence to the nation’s anti-drug campaign.”