Foncair Sen, a Taiwanese businessman accused of illegally importing cocaine into Nigeria in July, 2010 has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. Wang Richard, his alleged Chinese conspirator bagged an 18 year jail term.
Inuwa Mohammed, Godswill Asonugha and Kingsley Ezeala, the three Nigerian clearing agents who were alleged to be their accomplices were however discharged and acquitted.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA called 18 witnesses and tendered ( A to Z) documents while the defendants’ counsel, Chief Benson Ndakara leading four other lawyers led the accused persons who testified for themselves in evidences.
At the end of the trial, Ndakara’s no case submission was dismissed by the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, dismissed and the accused persons were ordered to enter their defence.
Reviewing the facts of the case, Justice Abang said the prosecution proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt against the first two accused persons i.e. the Chinese and the Taiwanese.
The judge noted that the first accused person imported the container in his company’s name from Chile. In the bill of lading, the container was said to be containing cigarettes.
The judge went further that when the container got to Nigeria the name of the importer, the consignee, was changed from the Taiwanese company to Hon. Mike Njoku who was an unknown person while the content of the container was changed from cigarettes to personal effects.
The judge said the Taiwanese did not also bother to find out whether cigarettes were contraband or not.
In the case of the Chinese, who is the second accused person, the court held that there was evidence that they collaborated to import the 450.4 kilogrammes of cocaine into Nigeria from Chile.
The three Nigerians were however let off the hook because according to the judge, they cannot be said to be conspirators as the clearing of the said container was the performance of their duties as clearing agents. Moreover, there was no evidence to show that the Nigerians facilitated the importation of the container in which the cocaine was concealed.
They were therefore discharged and acquitted.