65-year-old Odeyemi Omolola has been sentenced by a Federal High Court in Lagos to 25 years imprisonment, for attempting to traffic 1.595 kilogrammes of cocaine to Saudi Arabia. Omolola who is also known as Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi, was arrested on February 24th this year at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, during the outward clearance of passengers of Egypt Air Flight to Saudi Arabia, at the Egypt Air check-in counter. The 1.595kg of cocaine was found in her possession.
Omolola was first arraigned in May on a three count charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession of banned drugs and attempt to export banned substances to Saudi Arabia. She was arraigned alongside Lagos socialite, Mrs. Funmilola Ogbuaya, popularly known in social circles as Ariket. Both of them had pleaded not guilty. However at the resumed hearing of the case, Omolola changed her plea in an amended five counts of the charge.
Omolola’s lawyer, King Wilson, informed the court of her intention to change her plea, particularly, on count four of the charge, which bothered on attempt to export 1.595 kilograms of Cocaine to Saudi Arabia. Her request was granted by the trial judge, Justice Rabiu-Shagari, who ordered the charge be read to her again.
After the amended charge was read, the convict pleaded guilty, and the prosecutor urged the court to pronounce her guilty as charged, and to permit him to review the facts of the case against her and to tender exhibits she was arrested with. Attempt by the convict’s lawyer, Mr. Wilson to convince the court to suspend pronouncement on her sentence failed, as the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim urged the court to go ahead and pronounce the sentence.
After listening to the arguments from both counsels, the presiding judge, Justice Rabiu-Shagari said, “I have listened carefully of the defendant’s counsel, it’s true that sentence is not for punitive but reformatory and to serve as deterrent to others. Consequently, the convict is hereby sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, starting from when she was first arrested.”
Justice Rabiu-Shagari also ordered that her ECOWAS passports and Egypt Air ticket be forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.
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