Mother of five caught with marijuana, jailed

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A Federal High Court in Calabar has sentenced a 35-year-old mother of five children, Grace Asuquo, to one year and six months’ imprisonment without option of fine for being in possession of 400 grams of cannabis sativa, otherwise known as marijuana.

The sentence was given by Justice I. E. Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Calabar.

Witness for the prosecution, Ochika Simon, a Deputy Superintendent of Narcotics in the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, said on January 26, 2016, a team of operatives, led by one Danladi Abu arrested Asuquo with dried weed substance suspected to be cannabis sativa concealed in a school bag.

He said, “After she owned up to being the owner of the bag, I used the United Nations Testing Kit to test the substance and the substance tested positive for cannabis sativa. I weighed the substance and it weighed 400 grams.”

Asuquo said she was a married 35-year-old mother of five, adding that she stopped schooling at primary six and operated a provision shop afterwards.

The convict, who begged for mercy, said her eldest child was 20, while her last child was six.

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The defendant’s counsel, Eni Okoi, prayed the court to acknowledge the fact that the convict was a first time offender and had not taken the court through a lengthy trial but accepted her guilt early.

In his verdict, Ekwo noted that the defendant did not have any record of previous conviction.

He said, “Therefore in passing this sentence, I will take into account the fact that the convict is a first time offender; the quantity in her possession and the period of detention.

“I will therefore exercise leniency by not imposing maximum sentence. The convict is hereby sentenced to one year and six months’ imprisonment without option of fine with effect from January 26, 2016.”

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