The Federal High Court in Lagos, has sentenced a Lebanese drugs trafficker, Charbel Chalouhi, to six months’ imprisonment for unlawful dealing in 1.2 grams of cocaine.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo gave the jail term on Thursday, December 12, 2019, after the 34-year-old Lebanese had struck a plea bargain agreement with the prosecuting agency, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Chalouhi was first arraigned before Justice Nathaniel Ayo Emmanuel sometime in October, 2018, on a one-count charge of engaging in the use of cocaine, after he was arrested at his residence, at 18, Flat BB, Simon Akinolu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, on September 10, 2018.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge. And following the plea of his counsel, Mr. Benson Ndakara, he asked for his bail, which was granted by the court on various terms.
However, upon the transfer of Justice Ayo-Emmanuel, the convict’s case file was inherited by Justice Oweibo.
At the resumed trial of the convict on Thursday, his counsel, Ndakara, told the court that his client wished to change his plea.
Ndakara said the decision of his client to change his plea was premised on a plea bargain agreement reached with the prosecuting agency.
Ndakara’s position was confirmed by the prosecutor, Mr. Aernan.
Following the consensus of prosecutor and defence counsel, Justice Oweibo admitted the plea bargain agreement and consequently sentenced the convict to six months imprisonment.
The judge, however, gave the convict an option of N200, 000, in lieu of the jail terms.
Justice Oweibo also ordered that the international passport of the convict be released to him upon observing the court judgment, we he also ordered that the drug recovered from the convict’s possession be confiscated by the NDLEA.