A Nigerian woman identified as Priscilla Duru, who was arrested at Kigali International Airport in October 2016 as she tried to smuggle 1.3 kilograms of heroin through Kigali en route to Nigeria, on Thursday, sentenced to six years in prison for drug trafficking.
Duru, who reportedly entered Rwanda to wait for someone to give her the narcotics, so she could transport it to Nigeria, reportedly denied the charges arguing that she was given the bag by a Tanzanian woman and didn’t know the contents of the bag.
The presiding judge Alice Rulisa who disclosed that the court found her guilty of the drug trafficking charges, ruled that she will have to serve six years in Muhanga Prison or pay two million Rwandan francs in fines.
In November 2017, Punch reported that a 56-year-old woman and mother of four, Modinat Owolabi, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for cocaine trafficking. Owolabi was convicted by Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos State.
She was arraigned on one count by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. She pleaded guilty to the charge.
The prosecuting counsel for the NDLEA, Mr. Ibrahim Abu, told the court that Owolabi was arrested on May 19, 2017, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja. He said Owolabi was found with 330 grammes of cocaine during the outward clearance of a Qatar Airways flight to Saudi Arabia.
Abu told the judge that she acted contrary to Section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act, Cap. N30, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and was liable to punishment under the same Act.
Her lawyer, Morenike Ogunleye, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing her, stating that she was a first offender.
Justice Aikawa said, “I have to consider both her plea and what the law says about the crime.
“Consequently, I hereby sentence her to 10 years’ imprisonment, starting from the day of her arrest.”