Wee is for my hair--accused tells court

A 28-year-old Nigerian woman was last Tuesday jailed one year for possessing marijuana which she claimed was meant for a hair cream.

Mary Ann Nnena Okasor Nwodo, a native of Anambra State, Nigeria, who claimed to be a mother of four and teacher trainee, had been in police custody since the trial began in April this year.
She was arrested in March 2014 while attempting to smuggle 14 parcels of Indian hemp to Nigerian by road.

Minutes before she was sentenced, Nwodo’s counsel, Mr George Asamaning, had pleaded mercy for her at the Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri.

“My Lord, she has shown so much remorse that I’m not sure she would dare do this again. She is a student and so please deal with her leniently, so that she could continue her education,” pleaded counsel.

Nwodo herself, while pleading for leniency, said the parcels of Indian hemp were meant for a hair cream when the judge asked her why she was travelling with the substance.

Passing sentence, Mr Obiri said the court had taken cognisance of the fact that the accused person did not waste the court’s time, she had children aged between three and nine and the substance was not much. 

A moody Nwodo, while in the dock, occasionally covered her face with her palms and at other times used her palm to wipe her tears.

She was arrested at the Chisco Bus Terminal at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle around 12:30 p.m. on March 15, 2014 when operators of the bus on which she was about to travel to Nigeria discovered a parcel of the substance in a bundle of plastic bags.

A search in the rest of her luggage revealed 13 more of the parcels.
She was immediately handed over to the Neoplan Police Station in Accra.

Upon interrogation, she admitted the offence and pleaded for mercy, claiming that was her first time.
She said she had come to Ghana to buy bundles of plastic bags for sale in Nigeria when a Nigerian friend advised her to add the dried leaves to them, since they would fetch her more money back in Nigeria.

She told the police that she was led to Tudu, Accra, to buy the dried leaves at a cost of GH¢80 but failed to lead the police to the supplier.

The substance was sent to the forensic laboratory for analytical examination and it was confirmed to be Indian hemp.


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