Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced 45-year-old Martin Ikechukwu, to 10 years imprisonment for unlawful importation of cocaine.
This came even as he faces another sentencing for similar offence on November 27. Ikechucwu had pleaded guilty before Justice Benedicta Molokwu of the same court.
Before his conviction by Buba, Ikechukwu, who was granted bail after he had earlier pleaded not guilty, absconded after the prosecution called two witnesses.
He was later arrested for a similar offence he was facing trial for.
This development informed his second arraignment before Molokwu.
The prosecution counsel, Raphael Hinmikaiye, of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said this while reviewing the facts of Ikechukwu’s case before Buba on Thursday.
He said, “Ikechukwu had been arrested in Lagos on February 23, 2010 for being in possession of one kilogramme of cocaine he was imported from Brazil and was subsequently arraigned in April 2010.
“The man, who had pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned before in April 2010, absconded from trial after the prosecution called two witnesses.
“He was later arrested in September 2012 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos for unlawfully importing another consignment of liquid cocaine from Brazil.”
He however pleaded guilty when he was subsequently arraigned again at the court presided over by Molokwu.
Buba had on November 14, 2012 ordered that Ikechukwu be produced in his court when Hinmikaiye informed him that the convict had been re-arrested and charged before Molokwu.
Ikechukwu was produced on Wednesday and was rearraigned on the earlier charge.
He pleaded guilty after which Buba adjourned till Thursday for review of facts and sentencing.
While giving the verdict of the court, Buba ignored his plea for leniency and sentenced him to 10 years after finding him guilty.
Buba said Ikechukwu’s guilt plea was not a sign of remorse, but that he had only made such plea because all routes of escape had been shut against him.