A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced to six years imprisonment an Italy-bound traveller, Amobi Okoye, who hid cocaine in his stomach.

Justice Jude Dagat convicted Okoye for attempted unlawful export of 1.030 kilogrammes of cocaine following a six-year trial.

The sentence, which was without an option of fine, took effect from judgment day. 

The judge held that prosecution counsel, Mrs Juliana Imaobong Irubochi, successfully proved the National Drug Law Enforcement case against the defendant “beyond reasonable doubt.”

He said the defence put up by the defendant was “not strong enough” to free him from the charge.

Justice Dagat noted that the defendant admitted being promised $4,000 if he successfully delivered the cocaine to one ‘KC’ in Italy.

Besides sentencing Amobi, Justice Dagat forfeited the convict’s passports to the Federal Government and ordered that the drugs be destroyed if there is no appeal against the judgment.

Okoye was arrested on or about February 7, 2014 at the departure hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, during outward clearance of an Alitalia flight to Italy.

The cocaine was said to have been discovered in his stomach at Screening Point 2 of the airport.

He was arraigned on a one-count charge of unlawful export of the said banned drug.

Mrs Irubochi said the offence contravened Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Amobi pleaded not guilty and was admitted to bail.

During the trial, the prosecutor called nine witnesses and tendered 12 exhibits, including the convict’s two ECOWAS passports; sample of the drug; an Alitalia E-ticket; boarding pass; the bulk of the seized drug, his confessional statement, among others.

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the convict testified in his defence against the charge. 

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