The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Thursday, September 8, 2022 sentenced a 35-year-old Nigerian national, Chima Okoyi, for being found in possession of 17 (seventeen) blisters of cocaine.
The court heard through state prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Dalireni Kalanguka, that Okoyi was arrested on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at his house in Area 49, Gulliver.
Kalanguka, who is also the Regional Prosecution Inspector for Central West Region, said that police acted on a tip-off that the said Nigerian national was involved in illicit drug business at his house.
When detectives thoroughly searched the premises it resulted into uncovering of the 17 blisters of the cocaine that were hidden under his bed.
He further told the court that the illicit drugs were sent to Pharmacy, Medicines and Regulatory Authority (PMRA) for analysis which later confirmed the results to be positive for cocaine.
In his submission, Kalanguka prayed to the court for a custodial sentence, or a hefty fine citing the following factors;
that the accused person is a foreign national who was allowed into the country on trust that he will be in Malawi for legally accepted business.
And, that he had to obey laws of the land like any other citizen. But to the contrary, he and other Nigerian nationals are at the forefront perpetrating illicit drug business which is bringing negative effects on the citizens, mostly the youths.
In mitigation, Okoyi asked the court for leniency saying he is a first offender.
In passing his sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate James Mankhwazi, concurred with the state saying that cases of such nature are very rampant in the city, with Nigerian nationals topping the list of the perpetrators.
However, Mankhwazi said that he had taken into consideration the fact that the accused person is a first offender, and that the quantity of the cocaine was small.
He then proceeded to sentencing Chima Okoyi to a one million and five hundred thousand (1, 500, 000) kwacha fine, in default 12 (twelve months) imprisonment with hard labor to serve as a deterrent to other would be offenders.
Meanwhile, Okoyi has not yet paid the fine.