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32-year-old Nigerian National Sentenced to 10 Years for Drug Trafficking

Pascal Okafor Ezugwu, a 32-year-old Nigerian, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by an Accra High Court after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle 90 thumb-sized cocaine pellets weighing 1.54 kilograms.

On Friday, May 3, 2024, Mr. Ezugwu was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years of hard labor and fined ten thousand penalty units. Should he default on the fine, he will serve an additional three years in prison. The court also ordered the destruction of the seized drugs, which will be supervised by all relevant stakeholders, including the court registrar, state prosecutors, and the defense counsel.

Mr. Ezugwu was apprehended on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, by officers of the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) at Kotoka International Airport while undergoing pre-boarding formalities for a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam. A urine test conducted on him revealed traces of narcotic substances. During subsequent observation, he expelled 90 thumb-sized pellets, which field tests confirmed to be cocaine.

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Charged with unlawful possession, attempted exportation of narcotic drugs, and money laundering, Mr. Ezugwu pleaded guilty to all counts when arraigned before the Criminal Court Division of the Accra High Court and was convicted on his own plea.

NACOC has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the public from the trafficking and use of illicit drugs, ensuring public safety. The Commission emphasized that the possession, usage, and transportation of illegal drugs without lawful authorization remain prohibited under sections 40 (1) and 41 (1) of Act 1019 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020, urging the public to be aware of the severe consequences and risks associated with such activities.

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