Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday sentenced a 36-year old man to life imprisonment for unlawful importation of cocaine.
Calistus Sunday Chukwukelu, who said he had planned to get married later this year, was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on January 1, while returning to the country, via an Ethiopia Airline flight from Sao-Polo, Brazil.
He was arrested by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) with 1.470kilogramme of cocaine, and was consequently charged under Section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act, which prescribed a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on conviction.
When the charge was read to Chukwukelu yesterday, he pleaded guilty, following which he was convicted by Justice Adeniyi Ademola.
He consequently pleaded with the court for leniency, saying that he took to the drug trade when his shop, where he sold clothes in Lagos, got burnt.
He also said he had planned to get married this year before he was caught. He said he has an aged mother to cater for.
Justice Ademola said his plea of leniency was insufficient to dissuade the court from sentencing him to life imprisonment.
The judge held that evidence from his international passport indicated that he was not a novice in the trade.
He consequently sentenced Chukwukelu to life imprisonment.