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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Court jails septuagenarian for drug possession
Sacks of cannabis seized by the NDLEA during an operation. Photo: PETER NKANGA
By Samuel Oluwalana
March 3, 2010 02:15AM
A Federal High Court in Ekiti has sentenced a 70-year-old man to five years in jail for being in possession of 230 kg of marijuana.
Dominic Fabunmi, a native of Agbado Ekiti, was arrested last year by officers of the Ekiti State command of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
In its charge, the NDLEA said Mr. Fabunmi cultivates cannabis farms usually in Government Reserved Forests and and sells same to his network of clients in the Lagos and South-South areas of the country.
“He has been in the business for long and he stores his products in his house without fear of retribution from the law,” the command says.
Mr. Fabunmi was paraded in public shortly after his arrest alongside his colleagues, who also bagged various jail terms.
The Ekiti State Commander of NDLEA , Prince Benjamin Ikani, said the state is fast becoming a preferred haven for Indian Hemp dealers. He said his agency made the largest drug seizure ever in the history of the agency in the state last year.
“It was 82 tons of cannabis, which was stored in a one-storey house in 5,600 bags. It took a 24 -tyre trailer 7 hours to evacuate,” Mr. Ikani said.
Mr. Ikani said most of the barons sponsor the cultivation of the weeds from outside the state.
“Because of the fertile nature of Ekiti land and the passiveness and good naturedness of the people, these criminals always have their way. They take advantage of the people and the soil to flourish their trade. Mind you, it only takes three months for the weeds to germinate. So they quickly harvest their products before the land owners catch them in their acts and move them to Lagos or the South-South to feed their clients,” he said.
He also added that his agency is involved in the rehabilitation of at least 36 students of various higher institutions in the state, especially at the state-owned University of Ado -Ekiti (UNAD).