Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Thursday convicted an 87-year-old woman, Maria Seriki, of dealing in 10.3 kg of Cannabis Sativa.
The judge, however, ordered that the convict be remanded at the Lagos State Old People’s Home pending the time a member of her family, willing to take proper care of her, applied to the court for her custody.
The convict, a resident of Oto-Awori in Ijanikin, Lagos, had on November 7 pleaded guilty to a one count charge of trafficking 10.3kg of Cannabis, also known as Indian hemp.
Seriki was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
After her plea, the prosecutor, Aliyu Abubakar, had urged the court to adjourn the matter for a review of the fact of the case.
At the resumed hearing of the case, the prosecutor tendered some exhibits, which included the convict’s statements, a drug test analysis and the bulk of the substance seized from her, which were admitted as exhibits by the court.
After admitting the exhibits, the court pronounced the 87-year-old woman convicted as charged.
However, the convict’s lawyer, Prosper Ojakovo, in his plea for mercy, urged the court to be lenient in sentencing her.
Ojakovo told the court that she was a first time offender, who had nobody to take care of her.
He pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy and consider Seriki’s age in sentencing.
In her judgment, Shagari stated that sending her to prison would not be of any benefit, especially considering her age.
The judge, consequently ordered that the convict be remanded at the Lagos State Old People’s Home, Yaba.
In another matter, Shagari sentenced a 56-year-old woman, Anya Nneoma, to 12 months imprisonment for unlawfully dealing in 5.5kg of hemp.
Anya, a resident of Badagry, had also pleaded guilty on a charge of illegal dealing in hemp.
The judge said the convict should be sent to the female section of the kirikiri Prisons, Lagos.