Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Federal High Court in Lagos State has convicted and sentenced a woman, Bilikisu Lawal, who claimed to be battling the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, to one-year imprisonment.
The judge handed down the verdict to Lawal while delivering judgment on a charge of unauthorised dealing in five kilograms of cannabis sativa, aka marijuana.
The convict was charged before the court by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on one count of unauthorised dealing in cannabis sativa.
During the convict’s arraignment, the prosecutor, Femi Adebayo, told the court that she was arrested with the weed on November 2, 2022, at her house at Odofin, Ebute Onijegi Iworo, Badagry, Lagos State.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, and is punishable under the same Act.
The convict pleaded guilty to the charge.
Following her guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to sentence her in accordance with the law.
But the convict, in her plea for leniency, informed the court that she was an HIV patient, who did not have anyone to take care of her.
She said she used the proceeds of the Indian hemp to take care of herself, children and aged mother.
The judge then requested medical proof of her claim, which she presented.
Justice Faji, in her judgement on Friday, sentenced the convict to one-year imprisonment, saying her illness was not the type that could not be taken care of by the Nigerian Correctional Services.
The judge ordered the NCoS officials to ensure that the convict was given adequate medical treatment in custody. PUNCH