The Federal High Court Abuja, on Monday, sentenced a 66-year-old woman, Sikirat Adeyemi to five years in prison for exporting 1.340 kg of heroine.
Adeyemi who was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency had pleaded guilty to the offence.
When the matter was called on Monday, she pleaded for forgiveness, almost in tears, through an interpreter.
Delivering judgment, Justice Florence Giwa-Ogunbanjo held that the crime she committed was a grievous one which the court could not forgive.
“I have taken into consideration that she is a first-time offender and has not wasted the time of the court.
“I have heard her plea for leniency and the allocutus, unfortunately, the crime carries a life sentence and the court cannot forgive her, nonetheless, I’ll give her a reformatory sentence.
“In view of this, the defendant is sentenced to five years in prison. The sentence is to commence from when she was initially arrested.”
The judge said that she hoped that after Adeyemi completed her sentence she would not return to crime.
She ordered that the convict’s international passport and the €1,000 found on her when she was arrested should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
She further ordered that the drugs recovered from her should be forfeited to the Federal Government and destroyed 90 days after the judgment if it was not appealed against.
Earlier, Counsel to Adeyemi, Mr Adrian Amadi, by way of “allocutus” pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy and give the defendant a light sentence.
Amadi said that the offence, for which she pleaded guilty to, carried a life sentence but since she was a first time offender, had shown remorse and didn’t waste the time of the court, she should be shown mercy.
“The convict is 66 years old with an aged mother of 98 years who she looks after. She was a successful businesswoman who lost her business which led her into this unfortunate situation.
“The convict has shown remorse. The offence is punishable with life imprisonment but the court has the discretion to give a lighter sentence,” Amadi said.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mike Kasa also confirmed that the agency had no previous record where Adeyemi had been convicted, making her a first-time offender.