A landlord, Saheed Ojomu, who permitted his tenant to warehouse 372.6 kilogrammes of Cannabis in his shop, has been jailed for five years by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
Justice Daniel Osiagor passed the verdict after Ojomu, 51, changed his plea from “not guilty” during his arraignment by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in 2017, to “guilty” yesterday.
Ojomu was arrested on March 31, 2017 when the NDLEA found the banned substance in one of his shops at No. 1, Osho Street, Lagos Island, Lagos.
He claimed that the cannabis belonged to one of his tenants named Sakiru (now at large).
The charge against him reads: “That you Saheed Ojomu, male, adult, 46 years old on or about the 31st day of March 2017 at No. 1, Osho Street, Island, Lagos State, being occupier and manager of a shop at No.1, Osho Street Lagos Island, unlawfully permitted same to be used by one Sakiru (now at large) for storing and dealing in 372.6 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa, a narcotic drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin and LSD and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 12 of the NDLEA Act, 2004.”
In the course of the trial, the prosecution called two witnesses and tendered several exhibits which were admitted by the court.
However, at the resumption of proceedings on Wednesday, Ojomu’s counsel, Mrs. Vivienne Ekwegh, informed the court that her client had decided to change his plea.
The position was confirmed by the prosecutor, Mrs. N. J. Mamza.
Following his plea for mercy, Justice Osiagor sentenced Ojomu to five years imprisonment.
The judge gave the convict an option to pay a fine of N300,000 in place of imprisonment and perform a three-week community service.