One Dadda Lorenzo Harvy Albert, a 34-year-old South American man from Suriname, has been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for illicit drug importation into Nigeria.
Mr Albert was caught at the Port Harcourt International Airport with 117 parcels of cocaine concealed in extra-large latex condoms packed inside bottles of 100ml body spray by the men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
Femi Babafemi, Director of Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday, 2nd August, 2023.
The convict departed from Suriname in South America (on April 2) to Sao Paulo in Brazil, from where he headed to Port Harcourt, Nigeria (on April 7, 2023), all in the claim of searching for his long-lost Nigerian father called Omini. He was arraigned before Justice E.A. Obile of the Federal High Court 2, Port Harcourt, on 1st June on two counts of importation and unlawful possession of 9.9 kg of cocaine in charge number FHC/PH/181C/23,” the statement reads.
After conviction, the Surinamese pleaded guilty to a two-count charge and was sentenced to 13 years in jail on the two counts without a fine option.
The statement added, “In his ruling, Justice Obile declared that you Dadda Lorenzo Harvy Albert is hereby sentenced to 13 years imprisonment without option of fine on Count 1 and Count 2 also. And both shall run concurrently.”
The ruling Justice noted the forfeiture of all recovered property at the time of arrest and refuted his request to serve the jail terms in his country home.
“The trial judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sum of Ninety ($90) United States Dollars and Ten (R$10) Brazilian Real recovered from the convict at the time of his arrest to the Federal Government. The court equally refused the application by Lorenzos Counsel for him to be deported back to his country. As a result, the convict is now serving his term of imprisonment at the Correctional Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State,” it added.
The NDLEA stated that the Commission had secured convictions for 1,445 drug traffickers in six months.
Babafemi maintained that “successful prosecution and conviction of Lorenzo is one of the One Thousand Four Hundred and Forty-Five (1,445) drug cases concluded at the Federal High Court across the country between January and June 2023 by the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services of NDLEA with the trial of a total of 11,166 other drug suspects ongoing in court. Out of the 1,445 convicts, 221 of them are female while the balance of 1,541 are male.
“Of the 11,166 pending cases, 10,626 of them are men while the rest, 540 are women. The 1,445 convicts and 11,166 suspects who are still facing trial were arrested and charged to court over the seizure of 555,953.70 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, cannabis, tramadol and others linked to them between January and June 2023.”
He added that the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended officers and men of the prosecution department for a job well done. He charged them to remain committed to diligent prosecution of all pending cases in court, adding that conviction and sentencing without the option of fine is a strong deterrence to offenders and anyone contemplating going into any crime.