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Nigerian Businessman Jailed For 5 Years For Importing Container Load Of Tramadol

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced a businessman, Ifeanyi Ezeanwu, to five years imprisonment, over importation of a container load of Tramadol and other sex enhancing drugs.

The convict was sentenced by Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, after the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) had reviewed the facts of the charge before the court.

The convict was first arraigned before the court in February 2015, on a one count charge of unlawful importation of the said drugs.Apart from series of Tramadol tablets, other banned drugs said to have been imported by the convict include: Ibamol tablet of 50 mg, and Heogra tablet of 150 mg.

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The offence, according to the prosecution, contravenes the provisions of section 1(a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous provision) Act Cap. C34, Law of the Federation 2004.The convict had pleaded not guilty during his first arraignment, but when the case came up at the last adjourned date, he changed his plea to guilty, while the court adjourned the case until today, for a reviewof fact and sentence.

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Reviewing the facts of the case on Friday, the prosecutor, Umar Shamaki, narrated to the court how the convict was arrested by NAFDAC operatives.Mr Shamaki also tendered several items which including the convict’s confessional statements, samples of banned drugs, which were admitted as exhibits by the court.

After the review, the prosecutor urged the court to sentence the convict according to Section 3(1) of NAFDAC Act.Mr Shamaki told the court that the NAFDAC Act prescribed a payment of N500,000 fine, or a prison term not less than five years and not more than 15 years.Meanwhile, counsel to the convict, Vivian Ekwegh pleaded with the court, to be lenient in sentencing the accused, as he was a first time offender.

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In sentencing the convict, Justice Rabiu-Shagari, held: “the prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, especially, as there is no other way of proving a case than self-admittance”.She, consequently, convicted and sentenced the convict to a term of five years imprisonment from date of arrest.

The court, however, gave the convict an option of fine of N300,000.– NAN

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