by G9ija

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday sentenced a housewife, Stella Izuorah, and Emmanuel Izuorah, her brother in-law, to 10 months imprisonment each with hard labour, for dealing on cannabis saliva (popularly called Indian hemp).

The convicts had pleaded guilty to a count charge of illegal possession and unlawful trade in Indian hemp, punishable under Section 14 of the NDLEA Act.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole in passing the sentence, said he had carefully considered the allocutus of the defence counsel, Mr Victor Okangbe, who had earlier on May 2, pleaded for leniency on behalf of the convicts.

The judge also said that the court had considered the sociological and psychological nature of the case as well as the category of hard drugs found in their possession.

He said the sentence would assist the convicts to reform, as the first convict is a mother of six children, while the second is an unemployed graduate.

Kolawole ordered the National Drug Law Enforcement (NDLEA) to confiscate and refund N33, 620 found in the possession of the convicts’ at the time of their arrest into the account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He told the convicts to thank God that they were arrested for Indian hemp and not cocaine.

According to the prosecutor, Mr Mike Kassa, the convicts were arrested with 17.6 kilogrames of cannabis sativa, in Jabi, Abuja, on Sept.28, 2017.

The first convict, in her confessional statement, said that she helps her husband, Izuorah Ignatius, now at large, to sell and distribute Indian hemp.

She said she was assisted by the second defendant, Emmanuel, who lives with them in Mpape, Abuja.

She also confessed that her husband sends the Indian hemp in bags through public transport from Onitsha to Abuja, where she collects and distributes to customers.