Innocent gets 12 years’ jail, 20 strokes of rotan for drug possession

Six years ago, a Nigerian man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for two counts of drug abuse.

The Court of Appeal also ordered that Ngonadi Chibuzor Innocent, 44, be flogged 20 times. During today’s event, Barrister Afifuddin Ahmad Hafifi told the three-member bench that the Attorney General’s Chambers had accepted Innocent’s representation.

It is understood that this representation is intended to reduce costs from trading to ownership. Deputy Attorney General K Mangai also agreed with the judgment but did not say why the execution was allowed.

In 2019, the Shah Alam High Court sentenced him to death for trafficking 93.10g cocaine and 1.1kg cannabis in two separate locations in Gombak, Selangor on September 12, 2017. Innocent, a former employee at a restaurant in Kepong that serves African food, admits that he is a reformer today.

The bench, presided over by Judge Kamaludin Said, flanked by Judges Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Supang Lian, sentenced Innocent to 12 years in prison and 10 strokes of the cane for each offence. The prison sentence must be served concurrently, meaning he will only serve 12 years in prison and receive 20 strokes of the cane.

Meanwhile, at the federal court, another Nigerian, Muo Obi Benjamin, failed in his appeal to have his 17-year prison sentence reduced for drug use. A three-member bench, presided over by Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, said the arrest warrant was not excessive.

Justices Zabariah Yusof and Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal were with him on the committee. In 2018, Benjamin, a businessman, was sentenced to death for selling 1.5 kg of methamphetamine at KLIA in Sepang on October 5, 2015 when he was found guilty.

The Court of Appeal in 2020 overturned the death sentence and instead sentenced him to 17 years in prison and 10 strokes of the rattan for possession. Assistant Attorney General Nahra Dollah argued that prison sentences should now be set to have a deterrent effect on potential offenders.

Nahra, who is assisting DPP Dhiya Shazwani Akhir, said, “What is happening now is the conviction for possession of heavy drugs between the ages of 15 and 18.” Benjamin, 34, who represented himself, urged the court to show mercy because he has health problems.

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