A 46-year-old Nigerian man who accepted a delivery of €42,000 worth of cocaine hidden in a box of clothing to a house in Co Cork, Ireland was jailed for five years on June 9, after he admitted the drug offence.
Oyibo Chukwuma, who was born in Nigeria but is a naturalised Irish citizen, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Carrigaloe Cobh Co Cork, on October 19th last year.
Det Sgt Eoin Buckley told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Customs Officers received information about a package being delivered by a post and carried out tests on a white powder in the package.
The tests showed the powder to be cocaine and Customs together with the Garda mounted an operation to allow a controlled delivery of the package to a house at Pearse Square in Cobh.
Chukuama was at the address and signed for the package. He later gave it to another man and accompanied him and another man when they drove off with the package in a van.
Gardaí stopped the van at Carrigaloe and recovered the package which contained almost 6kg of cocaine hidden in between two layers of cardboard in a box containing clothes.
Det Sgt Buckley said that while Chukwuma made no admissions, he was “not unco-operative”.
And although he returned to Nigeria for a period, he surrendered himself upon his return to Ireland.
Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said Chukwuma, who lived at Richmond Road, Fairview in Dublin, had few relatives here so had few visitors since he was remanded in custody when charged.
He said this made prison life more difficult for Chukwuma. And he also noted that his guilty plea had save the State the expense and difficulty of a trial with no guarantee of success.
Mr O’Sullivan also said Chukwuma had no previous convictions and that was to his credit. He asked Judge David Riordan to treat him as leniently as possible.
The judge noted that section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act carries a 10-year mandatory sentence, but he had discretion in exceptional circumstances to reduce the penalty.
He said there were no aggravating factors in the case and he believed the appropriate sentence was seven years, but he would suspend the final two years of in the interest of rehabilitation.