The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a professional surety, Jude Okpala, who aided a drug baron, Okpala Mathew Emmy, to escape from custody to two years imprisonment.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, arraigned the fugitive drug baron before the court in charge No: FHC/L/217c/10.

During the arraignment of the drug baron, the convict, Ekpanisi, stood for him as a surety after he was admitted to bail by the court.

However, during the pendency of the charge, the drug baron became evasive and refused to avail himself before the court to face his trial.

Consequently, the NDLEA arrested the convicted professional surety and charged him to court on two counts bordering on aiding and abetting in the charge marked FHC/L/123c/2014.

At the hearing of the charge on Thursday, the prosecutor informed the court that he has a two-count charge against the professional surety, and prayed the court to allow the reading of the charges to the surety.

After reviewing the facts of the case, Nwagwu urged the court to convict the defendant based on his guilty plea and the evidence placed before the court.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo, in his ruling, convicted the surety as charged.

Following Okpala’s conviction, his counsel, Benson Ndakara, pleaded with the court to have mercy on the convict, saying he was a first-time offender who did not waste the time of the court before he pleaded guilty.

After listening to the convict’s counsel allocutus, Justice Oweibo, in his judgment, sentenced the professional surety to two years imprisonment.

The judge, however, ordered the convict to pay a fine of N60,000 in lieu of the jail term.

Surety bags two years jail term for aiding drug baron’s escape

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