Nigerian jailed 10 years for drug trafficking

A 32-year-old Nigerian National, Pascal Okafor Ezugwu, has been sentenced to a 10-year prison term by the High Court in after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle 90 thumb-sized cocaine pellets which weighed 1.54 kg.

On Friday 3rd May 2024, Mr. Okafor Ezugwu was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in hard labour and charged with a fine of ten thousand penalty units, while in the event of default, he will serve an additional three years in prison.

The court also ordered the destruction of the exhibit which will be supervised by all the interested stakeholders in the presence of the court registrar, state prosecutors and the defence counsel.

Mr. Okafor Ezugwu was arrested on Wednesday 21 February 2024 by officers of NACOC at the Kotoka International Airport when he was going through pre-boarding formalities at the departure hall to board a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.

A urine test conducted on him revealed traces of narcotic substances.

He later expelled a total of 90 thumb-sized pellets during observation by officers, where a field test of the pellets proved positive for cocaine.

He was subsequently detained and later charged with three counts of narcotic offences relating to unlawful possession, attempted exportation of narcotic drugs and money laundering.

Mr. Ezugwu was arraigned before the Criminal Court Division of the Accra High Court where he pleaded guilty to all three counts and was consequently convicted on his own plea.

In a meeting NACOC re-affirmed its commitment to protecting the public from the trafficking and use of illicit drugs, thereby ensuring public safety.

The Commission emphasised that the possession, usage, and transportation of illegal drugs without lawful authorisation remain prohibited under sections 40 (1) and 41 (1) of Act 1019 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020, and urges the general public to be aware of the consequences and risks associated with such activities.

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