Twenty Ghanaian fishermen have been sentenced to one-year imprisonment each on Thursday, 4 August 2022, by the Federal High Court of Lagos for smuggling marijuana from Ghana to Nigeria.
They were arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) after their arrest in January 2022.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo sentenced the fishermen after they pleaded guilty to two charges – conspiracy and unlawful transportation of 13.670 kilogrammes of marijuana.
The fishermen are Francis Teye, Kweke Komel, Gad Adjah, Theophilus Tetteh, Kwesi Aboagye, Ekon Fynn, Kwamena Baah, Kwabina Adjei, Micheal Okutu, Isaac Kofi, Kweku Moko, Kwezi Adzi and Kweku Mensah.
Others are Micheal Kofi, Ekon Bentum, Kwesi Amissah, Joshua Huago, Otu Otipeseku, Isaac Yorsson and Nana Kodwo.
According to the Punch Newspaper, the prosecutor, Mr. Fingere Owen, told the court that the offences were contrary to and punishable under sections 11(b) and 14(b) of the NDLEA Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Mr. Uche Okoronkwo, the lawyer for the 20 accused persons, prayed to the court for leniency because all his clients are first-time offenders with no criminal records.
He told the court that the fishermen were engaged by an unknown client who did not disclose the content of the package to them.
The judge ordered them to pay a sum of N50,000 each and their boat containing the substances be handed over to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
However, the judge ordered that the sentence should begin from the date of their arrest.