A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Thursday, December 12, 2019, sentenced a Lebanese drug trafficker, Charbel Chalouhi, to six months imprisonment for unlawful dealing in 1.2 grams of cocaine.
Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge handed down the jail term after the Lebanese had struck a plea bargain agreement with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
The convict was first arraigned before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel in October 2018, after he was arrested at his residence, 18, flat BB, Simon Akinolu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, on September 10, 2018, for trafficking in the said banned drug.
He was arraigned on a one-count charge of unlawful dealing in the hard drug.
The offence, according to the prosecution counsel, Jerry Aernan, was contrary to Section 11(d) of the NDLEA Act and punishable under the same. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following the Lebanese plea, his counsel, Benson Ndakara, asked the court to grant him bail and was granted by the court in 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 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 prosecution. Ndakara’s position was confirmed by the prosecution counsel.
Following the agreement between the prosecution and defence counsel, Oweibo accepted the plea bargain agreement and consequently sentenced the convict to six months imprisonment.
The judge, however, gave the convict an option of N200, 000 fine in lieu of the jail terms.