Court Sentences Delhi-Bound Drug Trafficker to 25 Years After NDLEA Bust

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

A FEDERAL High Court has sentenced Freeman Charles Ogbonna to twenty-five years in prison for drug trafficking, following his arrest by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

Ogbonna, traveling to Delhi, India, was caught with 80 wraps of cocaine after a body scan revealed the ingestion of illicit substances.

On March 31, Ogbonna, using a Liberian passport under the alias Carr Bismark, attempted to board a Qatar Airways flight to Delhi via Doha.

The NDLEA’s preliminary checks uncovered his true identity, and officers placed him under observation. Soon after, Ogbonna began to exhibit signs of severe discomfort, leading to the expulsion of the cocaine wraps from his stomach.

Ogbonna, recruited into drug trafficking by a relative, endured extreme risk as he passed a total of 889 grams of cocaine over four days.

He confessed that he had ingested the drugs at a hotel in the Ipodo area of Ikeja, with the promise of a N300,000 reward upon successful delivery in India.

Charged with violating section 20(1)(b) and punishable under section 20(2)(a) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 LFN 2004, Ogbonna faced Justice Dipeolu Deinde Isaac.

On July 1, 2024, the judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison without the option of a fine.

NDLEA Chairman Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) applauded the MMIA Command and prosecution team for their swift and thorough handling of the case.

He also emphasized that the judiciary’s role remains crucial in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria, noting that Ogbonna’s conviction sends a strong message to others in the drug trade, according to a statement signed by Femi Babafemi, Director of Media and Advocacy for the NDLEA, on July 2, 2024.

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