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Courts sentence Orji Kalu, 474 other drug traffickers to jail terms

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Atleast 475 Nigerians have been sentenced to different jail terms by Federal High Courts for trafficking drugs between September and November 2021 across the country.

Among the convicts was 32-year-old Chukwuemeka Kalu Orji who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour on 13th October by Justice E.N.Anyadike of the Federal High Court, Umuahia, Abia state.

The sentence makes it the third time Kalu Orji would be convicted and jailed for drug offenses after he was first sentenced to eight months in prison on 15th December 2017 by Justice Anyadike, and jailed for three years on 13th December, 2020 by Justice D.E. Osiagor.

He and 474 others were dragged before the court by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) after they were arrested with items listed as drugs by the Federal Government.

This figure released on Tuesday by the Director of Media and Advocacy for the anti-drug agency, Femi Babafemi, represents a portion of the over 1,000 traffickers that were jailed between January and November for drug offences.

A breakdown of the statistics revealed that in September, a total of 73 persons were convicted with Jigawa state recording the highest figure of 15 convicts, followed by Adamawa -14 and FCT-11.

Jigawa state also topped the chart of the 150 convictions recorded by the Agency in October with 14 convicts, followed by Niger-13; Katsina-12; Taraba-11, and Lagos- 11.

Adamawa and Abia states had the highest conviction figure in November with 23 each out of a total of 252 convictions recorded by the anti-narcotic agency in the past month, while FCT had 21 and Plateau- 14.

In Abia state, 58-year-old Obi Ajah was also convicted and sentenced to five calendar years imprisonment with hard labour on 13th Oct by Justice Anyadike.

The convict was a second-time offender, having been convicted on 29th November, 2012 by Justice J.A. Olubanjo of the Federal High Court, Umuahia.

Speaking on the number of drug traffickers convicted, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the various state commands and the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services of the Agency for their commitment towards diligent prosecution of cases filed in courts against drug offenders, saying such will go a long way to strengthen the deterrence effect of the work of the Agency.

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