Nigerian fined K1.5 million over dangerous drugs in Lilongwe

Nigerian Chima Okoyi

The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court has ordered a 35-year-old Nigerian, Chima Okoyi to pay a K1.5 million fine or in default spend a year in jail, for being found in possession of 17 blisters of cocaine.

The court heard through state prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Dalireni Kalanguka that Okoyi was arrested on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at his house in Area 49, Gulliver.

Kalanguka, who is also the Regional Prosecution Inspector for Central West Region said police officers acted on a tip-off that the Nigerian national was involved in illicit drug business at his house.

According to Lilongwe Police Public relations officer Inspector Hastings Chigalu, when detectives thoroughly searched the premises, it resulted into uncovering of the 17 blisters of the cocaine that were hidden under his bed.

The illicit drugs were sent to Pharmacy, Medicines and Regulatory Authority (PMRA) for analysis whose results confirmed positive for cocaine.

In his submission, Kalanguka prayed to the court for a custodial sentence, or a hefty fine citing that the accused person is a foreign national who was allowed into the country on trust that he will be in Malawi for legally accepted business.

The cocaine which has earned Okoyi a K1.5 million fine. Pics by Lilongwe Police 

However to the contrary, he and other Nigerian nationals are at the forefront perpetrating the illicit drug business which is bringing negative effects on the citizens, mostly the youth.

In mitigation, Okoyi asked the court for leniency saying he is a first offender.

Passing his sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate James Mankhwazi, concurred with the state noting that cases of this nature are very rampant in the city, with Nigerian nationals topping the list of the perpetrators.

Mankhwazi however said that he had taken into consideration the fact that the accused person is a first offender, and that the quantity of the cocaine was small.

He proceeded to sentence the Nigerian a K1.5 million fine; in default 12 years Imprisonment with hard labor (IHL) to serve as a deterrent to other would be offenders.

Meanwhile, Okoyi has not yet paid the fine.