Justice Bature Gafair of the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, Borno State, has sentenced a cannabis dealer to life imprisonment. A statement by the Head, Public Affairs, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said the judgment, which was delivered during the commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking had generated much interest among stakeholders.
According to the statement, the convict, Mr. Saje Askira, 42, is the first person to get a life sentence for drug trafficking in the state. Justice Gafair reportedly said the convict had a pending case also in connection with drug trafficking before he was rearrested. “It is obvious that he has 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. He is therefore found guilty as charged and sentenced to life imprisonment,” Justice Gafair said in his judgment.
The Chief Executive Officer, 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 surely serve as a lesson to others,” Giade said.
The state Commander of NDLEA, Mr. Ona Ogilegwu, said the judgment would transform the operational activities of the command. He said, “No doubt, this judgment 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 3.7kgs of cannabis. While he was on bail, he was rearrested in 2007 with 1.7kgs of cannabis. So, this is good news to the agency because it is the first time a drug convict will get a life sentence in the state.”