ABUJA — A 35-year-old bus conductor, Chinedu Nnamani, accused of aiding the transportation of 18.5 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa (a.k.a Indian Hemp) was on Monday, discharged and acquitted at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Babatunde Quadri absolved Nnamani of the one-count charge on the grounds that the prosecution failed to substantiate the charge leveled against him.
The judge said the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as the prosecuting agency, ought to have placed substantial evidence before the court to prove its case against the defendant.
“I do not believe that the prosecution discharged its duty satisfactorily. They did not carry out a detailed investigation.
“The evidence of the prosecution is lacking in substance and grossly speculative,” said the judge.
Justice Quadri said the evidence of the prosecution was the fact that the defendant was the bus conductor on the luxury bus the drugs were found on.
He added that the argument of the prosecution that since the defendant was the conductor on the bus, his negligence of duty aided the transportation of the drugs was not compelling.
He also contended that the prosecution failed to call expert witnesses to confirm that the substance found on the bus was actually Indian Hemp.
The judge held that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, which left the court in doubt based on the evidence placed before it.
“There are gaps and loopholes in the case of the prosecution.
“I am of the view that the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the defendant, I hereby discharge and acquit him,” the judge held.
The luxury bus traveling from Lagos to Abuja was stopped on a routine stop and search near Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory by officials of the NDLEA.
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