Yola – A Federal High Court sitting in Yola on Tuesday sentenced eight persons to 20 years in prison each for killing two officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), while on duty.
Delivering judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Balkisu Aliyu, said the convicts were found guilty under section 14 (1b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act of 2004.
“It could be recalled that the incident occurred on March 21, 2012 in Loko Village in Song Local Government Area.
“According to the First Information Report, the officers of the NDLEA attached to Song Local Government area unit went to Loko village to arrest some notorious drugs dealers following a tip off by an informant.
“It was during the arrest, that the two officers were killed and two others injured,’’ she said.
Aliyu noted that the testimony of the witnesses showed that the convicts not only resisted lawful arrest but intentionally killed the officers.
She said that it was clear that the convicts and others at large came out with deadly weapons such as machetes, knives, stones among others with the intention to kill.
The judge noted that the convicts refused to realise that the NDLEA officers were a symbol of government and any attack on them was an attack on the sovereignty of the nation.
“The convicts attacked the symbol of authority and if we are to survive as a nation, such act must not be allowed to go unpunished.
“And having considered the entire request, I sentenced each of you to 20 years imprisonment for the offence of conspiracy to obstruct the officers of NDLEA from discharging their lawful duty.
“Secondly, I also sentence the eight convicts to another 20 years for disrupting officers of NDLEA to carry out their lawful duty and in the process two officers lost their lives while two others were injured,” Aliyu said.
She however, said that the two sentences would run concurrently.
The presiding judge said the judgment was to send a clear message that under no circumstance should any law enforcement officer be attacked or killed because he was discharging his duty as the culprits would never go unpunished.
Commenting on the development, Mr Yakubu Kibo, the state’s Commander of NDLEA, expressed satisfaction over the judgment adding that it would serve as a deterrent to others. (NAN)