10 Jul 2015

High Court sentences Pakistani to prison for importing heroin valued at N220m

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi in Lagos State has sentenced a Pakistani, Iftikhar M. Arslan, to 18 months imprisonment for importing 25.400kg of high heroin valued at 220million Naira.

The development was revealed in a statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ofoyeju Mitchell.

The convict was charged with a one count charge of unlawful importation of 25.400kg of heroin contrary to and punishable under section 11(a) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Iftikhar who claimed to be a medical student, initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea midway in the trial, pleading for leniency.

Contrarily, his argument was opposed by NDLEA Prosecutor, Mr Owens Fingere, who told the court that the value of the drugs and the fact of the case should be considered in sentencing him.

The presiding judge, Justice Chukwujewu Aneke, while noting that the convict was a first time offender who was remorseful over his action, stated that heroin was a dangerous drug that would have caused serious harm to the country.

The judge said that the court would show some leniency considering the fact that he is a student who deserves a second chance to correct his mistakes. Subsequently, he sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment on Monday.

Iftikhar was arrested by officials of the anti-drug agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city, on April 5, 2014 at age 19 during the inward screening of passengers on a Qatar Airways flight on his way from Doha, Qatar.
“I am a student of Punjab College and I am in Nigeria as a tourist because my friend told me that Victoria Island and Ikoyi are beautiful tourist centres.

“Unfortunately, when I arrived at the Lagos Airport, the heroin was found in my luggage. This is my first time of coming to Nigeria and I had intended to spend a week or two,” Iftikihar reportedly told investigators during his arrest.
The brownish substance that tested positive for heroin was packed in 25 parcels hidden in a smaller bag inside his luggage.

Credit: Channels

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