Jan 19, 2009, 8:20 AM
A Turkish national, Philip Ndekey, was on Friday convicted for being in possession of prohibited drugs, following his own plea of guilt.
He was sentenced by the magistrates court in Banjul to a fine of D500, 000 in default to serve 5 years in prison.
According to the particulars of the offence, Ndekey was on 3rd March 2010, at the Farato Police Intervention Unit (PIU) post in the Western Region, found to be in possession of 1kg 920 grams of cannabis sativa.
In his plea of mitigation, Ndekey told the court that he is a family man with a child.
"I am not working. So I sell the drugs for the survival of my daughter, and my family. I am begging the court to temper justice with mercy," he told the court.
In passing sentence, Magistrate Hilary U. Abeke asserted that the accused person is a first time offender in the eyes of the law, and so the court will consider his plea of mitigation. But he said the court should not lose sight of its responsibilities.
Noting that the issue of drug dealing and related matters are too common in society, he said drug dealers should not have any room in society.
"Drug menace is not only bad in the eyes of the law, but even health-wise is not good," he stated.
The law-markers should put strict measures in place, and anyone found culpable should be dealt with accordingly, he said.
The magistrate said drug peddling is a general problem within the sub-region, which calls for joint collaboration with all the stakeholders, including the border guards, to be strict in order to stop the drug dealing in our society.