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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Notorious drug baron gets 5-year jail term for cocaine trafficking, Court rules

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced Udogwu Johnson, a notorious drug trafficker, to five years imprisonment for the illegal importation of 300 grams of cocaine and other hard illicit substances into the country. The trial judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, jailed Johnson after he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of unlawful importation of cocaine brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Johnson was first arraigned on August 12, 2021, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. However, midway into his trial, the convict jumped bail, and his bail was revoked on June 6, 2022. He was later rearrested in Port-Harcourt, where he was facing another drug-related charge.

At the resumed hearing of the matter before the Lagos court, Johnson signified his intention to change his plea, and the amended charge was read to him. The prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, urged the court to convict and sentence him in accordance with the section of law with which he was charged.

After his plea was taken, Justice Oweibo sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment and also ordered that the jail terms will start from Thursday. The amended charge reads; “That you, Udogwu James Johnson, Male, Adult, on or about the 25th of December, 2020, at the D-Arrival Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos, without lawful authority, Imported 300grams of Cocaine, Narcotic Drug, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11 (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

Drug trafficking remains a serious crime in Nigeria, and the NDLEA has been working tirelessly to curb its spread in the country. The agency has been making several arrests and securing convictions of drug traffickers across the country. The NDLEA’s efforts have contributed to the reduction of drug-related crimes in Nigeria. The conviction of Johnson is another victory for the agency and the Nigerian justice system

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