Nigerian drug kingpins sentenced to life imprisonment for cocaine trafficking

Date:

April 29, 2024.

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Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced two notorious drug kingpins: Uwaezuoke Ikenna Christian and Agbo Chidike Prince, to life imprisonment for cocaine trafficking.

Director, Media & Advocacy of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, who announced this in a statement on Sunday, April 28, 2024, said the sentences bring an end to their years of criminal enterprise of exporting cocaine across continents following their arrest and diligent prosecution by the anti-narcotics agency.

According to the statement, 43-year-old businessman Uwaezuoke’s journey to a lifetime in jail began when he was first arrested by NDLEA operatives on 19th March 2022 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after he was found to have ingested 100 big wraps of cocaine weighing 2.243 kilograms.

He was subsequently arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/438/2022 and was granted bail on certain conditions after he pleaded not guilty. He thereafter absconded, leading the court to revoke his bail and issue an arrest warrant against him.

In a curious twist, Uwaezuoke was again arrested by NDLEA operatives on 1st August 2023, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos while attempting to export 1.822 kilograms of cocaine to India through ingestion using a different passport and under a different name, Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi.

He was again arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division in charge number FHC/L/554C/2023. He pleaded guilty to the two counts charge and was convicted and sentenced on 18th October 2023 to a total term of seven years of imprisonment or a fine of ₦1, 500,000.00. He paid the fine and was transferred to Abuja to face the importation case pending against him.

He was re-arraigned on 20th March 2024 at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/438/2022 before Justice Joyce Obehi Abdulmalik, where he pleaded guilty again. Despite his plea, the court, noting his lack of remorse, the seriousness of drug-related offences and the fact that he is a repeated offender, convicted and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

In the case of 42-year-old Agbo Chidike Prince, he was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja during the outward clearance of Ethiopian Airlines flight to Hong Kong on 21st October 2023 for ingesting 49 wraps of cocaine weighing 998.73grams.

Upon his arraignment before Justice Joyce Obehi Abdulmalik of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, the defendant pleaded guilty to the one count charge, prompting the prosecution to present evidence and review the facts of the case.

Despite the plea of allocutus by the defendant’s counsel, the court, noting the nature of the case and the commercial quantity of the drug, emphasized the seriousness of drug-related offences, convicted and sentenced the defendant on 15th April, 2024 to life imprisonment.(www.naija247news.com).


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Azonuchechi Chukwu
Azonuchechi Chukwuhttps://gravatar.com/azonuchechivchukwu
Azonuchechi Chukwu - Business Journalist at Naija247news.com Azonuchechi Chukwu is a seasoned business journalist contributing to the insightful coverage of economic and financial news at Naija247news.com. With a passion for unraveling the complexities of the business world, Azonuchechi brings a wealth of expertise and dedication to his role. As a Business Journalist, Azonuchechi specializes in providing comprehensive analyses of market trends, corporate developments, and economic indicators. His in-depth reports offer Naija247news.com readers a nuanced understanding of the forces shaping the Nigerian and global business landscapes. Azonuchechi Chukwu's commitment to journalistic excellence is evident in his ability to translate complex financial information into accessible and engaging narratives. Whether exploring stock market fluctuations, corporate strategies, or economic policies, he strives to deliver content that empowers readers with valuable insights. With an educational background in business and a keen interest in the intersection of finance and technology, Azonuchechi stays at the forefront of industry dynamics. His coverage extends beyond traditional financial reporting, encompassing the dynamic realms of fintech, entrepreneurship, and sustainable business practices. Azonuchechi Chukwu's work goes beyond the surface, aiming to foster financial literacy and awareness among Naija247news.com's audience. By demystifying economic complexities and shedding light on emerging opportunities, he plays a pivotal role in keeping readers well-informed in the fast-paced world of business. As Naija247news.com's Business Journalist, Azonuchechi Chukwu continues to make meaningful contributions to the platform's mission of delivering timely, accurate, and relevant business news to its diverse audience. His dedication to journalistic integrity and his ability to navigate the intricacies of the business realm make him an invaluable asset to the Naija247news.com team.

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