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Indian hemp farmer, others bag 75 years imprisonment each

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Indian hemp farmer, others bag 75 years imprisonment each

The Federal High Court of Benin on Thursday sentenced an Indian hemp grower and merchant, Mike Omoarukhe, to 75 years in prison, the NDLEA announced in Abuja on Friday.

NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi said in a statement that the director of the drug trafficker and three other people working on his Indian hemp farms were also sentenced to 75 years in prison each.

They were granted an option of a fine of N 700,000 each against which NDLEA President Buba Marwa ordered an immediate appeal.

Mr Babafemi said the NDLEA indicted those convicted in July on five counts of cultivating 22 hectares of Indian hemp and possessing 183.5 kilograms of the prohibited hard substance.

The court sentenced each of them to 15 years in prison for each of the five charges to run simultaneously.

The spokesperson explained that NDLEA agents stormed farms in Ughieudu Forest, Uhunwonde Local Government Area in Edo, on July 1.

Officers arrested six people with 50 kilograms of Indian hemp during the operation.

He named the suspects Elijah John, Friday Emma, ​​Itoro Emmanuel, Daniel Emmanuel, Udom Etok and Abraham Thompson.

Mr. Etok and Thompson were, however, released because they are minors.

He said a follow-up operation in the forest on July 3 led to the arrest of one Emmanuel Ekpeyong and the destruction of three Indian hemp farms spanning 22 hectares of land.

The NDLEA also seized 133.5 kg of Indian hemp that day, he added.

He said that after weeks of manhunts, the owner of the farm, Omoarukhe, 36, was arrested at a recreation center in Irrua, also in Edo.

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