Justice Bature Gafair of the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, Borno State, has sentenced a cannabis dealer to life imprisonment. The judgment which was delivered at a time that the world is commemorating the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking has generated much interest among stakeholders. The convict, Saje Modu Askira, 42 years old is the first person to get a life sentence for drug trafficking in the State.
According to the Justice Gafair, the convict has a pending case before he was rearrested also in connection with drug trafficking. It is obvious that he is yet to learn any lesson and practically lacks remorse. It will be difficult for him to be of good conduct because while on bail he was caught selling cannabis. There is no enough evidence to prove his innocence. He is therefore found guilty as charged and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade commended the Judge for what he described as a bold step towards reducing the problem of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country. “This judgment is a welcome development. It is in line with our thinking that a desperate malady certainly deserves a desperate solution. This section of the law is a pointer to the adequacy of the law. It will surly serve as a lesson to others” Giade stated.
NDLEA Commander in Borno State, Mr. Ona Ogilegwu, said that the ruling will transform the operational activities of the command. “No doubt, this ruling will change the face of our operations in the State. People will also begin to appreciate the fact that cannabis carries a serious penalty in line with the NDLEA Act. This convict is a notorious cannabis dealer who was first caught in 2005 with 3.7kg of cannabis. While he was on bail, he was re-arrested in 2007 with 1.7kg of cannabis. So, this is a good news to us in the Agency because it is the first time in the State that a drug convict will get a life sentence” Ona explained.
Under section 11 C of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 laws of the federation 2004; anybody who sells, buys, exposes or offers for sale or otherwise deals in or with the drugs popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroin or any other similar drugs shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for life.