Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja has sentenced two drug traffickers, Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwane, who were linked to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, to six years imprisonment.
Delivering judgement in the case involving them on Tuesday, Justice Nwite convicted Umeibe and Ezenwanne on counts five, six, and seven of the drug trafficking charge filed against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
At the resumed proceedings, the NDLEA, through the Director of its Legal Department, Sunday Joseph, informed the court that it has entered into a plea bargain agreement with the two defendants.
Mr Joseph, therefore, persuaded the court to adopt the terms of the plea bargain deal as its judgement against the defendants.
Consequently, Justice Nwite convicted and sentenced the two defendants to two years jail term on each of the three counts of the charges against them.
He, however, noted that the two defendants were remorseful, saying the sentence would run concurrently, commencing from the date they were arrested.
The judge held that the defendants should forfeit their international passports in accordance with Section 30 of the NDLEA Act, Cap M30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
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In line with the plea bargain agreement, he okayed Umeibe and Ezenwanne to testify as witnesses in the trial of DCP Kyari and the other accused police officers, even as it ordered the NDLEA to ensure their safety in any correctional facility of their choice.
Justice Nwite directed the NDLEA to constantly monitor the two defendants to ensure that they do not engage in any drug-related activity while serving their jail terms.
He subsequently fixed July 18, 19 and 20 for a full trial of Kyari and his men, as well as for a hearing of their fresh application for bail.
The duo, who were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu while attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country, were arraigned before the court on March 7.
They were brought to court alongside Kyari and four other police officers – ACP Sunday Ubia, Inspector Simon Agirigba, Inspector John Nuhu, and ASP Bawa James.
During their arraignment, the duo pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking charge against them.