Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Lagos Federal High Court, on Friday, sentenced an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patient, Adeyemo Babatunde Akanni, a.k.a. Adeyanju Williams, to two years imprisonment, for attempting to export 1.595 kilograms of heroin.
The convict was arrested with the drug by the Operatives of National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the departure hall of Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on October 1, 2014, during an outward clearance of Airfrance Airline Flight to Paris, the France capital.
He was charged to court on a count charge of unlawful exportation of the said banned drug, and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim while proving the case against the convict, had called five witnesses and tendered several evidences, which includes: the seized banned drug, which the convict excreted, his international travelling passport, his statements, the results of forensic test of the drug, €800 Euro, and many others, which were admitted as exhibits in the matter.
At the resumed trial of the matter on Friday, the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim, informed the court of the convict’s intention to change his plea, a submission, the convict’s lawyer, Mrs. Lilian Omotunde collaborated.
Upon, the convict’s change of plea, the prosecutor further tendered five more statements of the convict, which were also admitted as exhibits.
After tendering the evidence, the NDLEA’s prosecutor urged the court to pronounce the convict as guilty as charged.
He said: “My Lord, in view of the accused change of plea, coupled with the extra five statements of the accused. I urged the court to go ahead and pronounce him guilty as charged.”
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Aneke, pronounced the convict guilty as charged on a count charge of unlawful export of 1.595 kilograms of heroin.
However, the convict’s Lawyer, Mrs. Lilian Omotunde, in her allocutor, urged the court to tamper Justice with mercy in sentencing her client.
Omotunde informed the court that the convict, was a first time offender, who has shown a lots of remorse since his predicament.
She further informed the court that her client has been consistent in court despite his failing health. And in supporting her claim of her client’s health challenge, she tendered a medical certificate dated May 13, 2016, and endorsed by one Dr. Fatoki of Lagos State General Hospital, Ikeja.
Omotunde also cited Section 416(2)(D) and 420 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, while urging the court to fine the convict as alternative to sending him to prison.
Delivering judgment in the Criminal Charge, Justice Aneke sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment stating from Friday.
The judge also ordered that the confiscated money, €800 Euro, be forfeited and paid into the account of federal government of Nigeria, while the seized drug be destroyed if there is no Appeal against the judgement.