Twenty years Jail sentence for Nigerian drugs trafficker in Sierra Leone 

Mousa E. Massaquoi: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 September 2018:

Justice Bintu Fatmata Alhadi has sentenced a Nigerian named as Gozie Udoka Isaac, who was arrested at Lungi International Airport with 20.797 kilogram of cocaine to twenty years imprisonment.

The convict was initially charged with seven counts for allegedly transporting cocaine from Brazil to Sierra Leone, but was later discharged on three counts and sentenced to five years each, on the remaining four counts.

The offences for which the accused was convicted include Transportation of Prohibited Drugs contrary to Section7(b) of the National Drugs Control Act 2008, Dealing with Prohibited Drugs contrary to Section 7(c), and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Drugs contrary to Section 8(a) all of the National Drugs Control Act 2008.

The particulars of the indictment state that the accused on 23rd October 2017, transported 50 cocaine pellets without lawful authority from Brazil to Sierra Leone through Air Maroc.

It is read that on the same date at Lungi International Airport the accused was found dealing in 50 pellets of cocaine without lawful authority, and on the last count, the accused was said to have been found in possession of 50 pellets of cocaine at the Lungi Airport.

The accused pleaded guilty to these charges when put to him at the High Court, but however denied the remaining three counts of Importation and Transportation of Prohibited Drugs.

Addressing the court, State Prosecutors – lawyer Augustine Sheku assisted by lawyer Sonia J.Y Barlatt, stated that the convict is a Nigerian resident in Brazil. He tendered the flight details and pictures of the said drugs arrested at the Airport.

Lawyer Sheku said that according to the Act, anyone found guilty of the said offences would face the penalty of life imprisonment; and for the count of prohibited drugs, the penalty is five years imprisonment.

Defense counsel lawyer Cecelia Tucker from the Legal Aid Board, asked the Judge to temper justice with mercy and consider the sincerity of the accused.

She pleaded that if possible, instead of a custodial sentence, the court could use its discretionary powers and order an immediate expatriation of the accused.

Passing her judgment, Hon. Justice Alhadi said that the accused is guilty on all four counts. She strictly warned that people should not use Sierra Leone to transport, import or engage in drug activities. Anyone found wanting will face the law, she said.

The State Prosecutor applied for the court to order the withdrawal of the said cocaine to be handed over to the Transnational Organized Crime Unit (TOCU), until such time for it to be destroyed. This request was granted by the judge.

3 Comments

  1. Surprising, I could hardly believe how the judiciary function in the country. I congratulate the judge who ruled the case against the culprit. This sets a real example to all those who are dealing or trafficking drugs in Sierra Leone. All those responsible and accused will from now on think twice before using Sierra Leone as pad for their problems.

  2. Over the last few years, many top officials were involved in Cocaine and this Nigerian, perhaps did not know that Government has changed.

  3. This isn’t new in Sierra Leone about Nigerians in drug dealing. During the rebel war, there were lots of Nigerians in the country, in the form of ecomog forces assisting us alongside our military fighting the RUF Rebels. After the rebel war, some of these Nigerians posed as businessmen and they occupied Goderich Street and Lumley Street in the Central Parts of Freetown. The Criminal Investigation Department(CID) invaded both streets and large quantity of drugs was founded. Most people were not happy about the decision taken by the government then by deporting them to Nigeria.

    I can recall between 1993 to 1995 I was among a group of Civil Society and some NGOs fighting for the law enforcing body to change the laws for anybody caught with large quantity of drugs to serve life sentence. Most people are fighting against this, without recognising the effects of drugs in the country.

    To fight against drugs isn’t a one man show. It is the responsibility of all and sundry – the border police, the Population, law enforcement Body, the government agencies and the police.

    Drugs is killing our Young People slowly and it is damaging our talented young people globally. The Influx of gangs in Freetown is an alarming issue to be tackled in a professional manner. One of the causes has to do with drug influence and we must not ignore that

    I applaud Justice Bintu Fatmata Alhadi for a great work. Keep up the good work as your father did. He will be proud of you and the good people will be proud of you too. This Judgement will give a signal to the drugs cartel in and outside the country.

    Think Salone, PUT SALONE FOS

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