Chima Okoyi, a Nigerian residing in Lilongwe, Malawi, has been ordered to pay a fine of K1.5 million, an equivalent of N650,000, or risk a 12-month jail term with hard labour over alleged possession of 17 blisters of cocaine.
According to Nyasa Times, an online newspaper in Malawi, James Mankhwazi, a Magistrate’s Court judge, said Okoyi was a first-time offender and that the quantity of cocaine he was caught with was small, while delivering his judgement on September 9.
This was after the prosecution argued that Okoyi deserved a stiffer punishment because drug-related cases were becoming rampant in the country with Nigerians topping the list of offenders.
Following a tip-off, the police had arrested Okoyi at his residence in the country’s capital on August 27 and found drugs hidden under his bed.
“Lilongwe Police drug detectives, accompanied by Central West Region officers, invaded the said premises at around 15:00 hours,” Hastings Chigalu, Lilongwe police spokesperson, said after his arrest.
“With a blessing from Lilongwe Magistrate Court that granted a search warrant for the same, detectives thoroughly did their job which resulted into uncovering of the 17 blisters of the suspected cocaine hidden under his bed.”
The drugs were sent to the country’s pharmacy, medicines and regulatory authority for analysis and were later confirmed to be cocaine.
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