Justice B. O. Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday sentenced a 55-year-old woman, Basirat Binuyo, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour, for smuggling 76 pellets of cocaine weighing 931 grams.
Binuyo was arrested last year on her way to Medina, Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. In her statement to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Binuyo admitted smuggling the drugs for a fee. Binuyo, a trader in Lagos, a mother of three, said: “I wanted to expand my cosmetic business but I had no money.
My sponsor offered to foot my expenses to Saudi on pilgrimage. I was excited until I was asked to take drugs along.
I wanted to decline but considering the offer of N1 million, I accepted. I swallowed the drugs in Lagos and took flight to Abuja on my way to Medina but I was caught in the process.” Binuyo tested positive to narcotic ingestion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja while on her way to Saudi Arabia last September.
She was immediately placed under observation by officials of the NDLEA where she excreted 76 pellets of substances found to be cocaine.
In his judgement, Quadri said that the sentence should serve as deterrent to others. He said the hard labour was added because the convict failed to reveal the identity of her sponsors.