A Nigerian pastor, who preaches in Tanzania, under the umbrella of the Lord Chosen Church of Nigeria, has been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison after being convicted of smuggling cocaine worth Sh3.1 billion.
According to DailyPost, Pastor Chukwudi Okechukwu, who the Anti-narcotics police allegedly believes is one of the top members of a drug syndicate operating in Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa, was jailed alongside a South African, one Stan Hycent and Pakistani Shoaib Mohammad Ayazi over the same offence.
It was believed that Okechukwu and his three accomplices were reportedly hiding in a mansion in Dar es Salaam’s Kuduchi Mtongani suburbs when the police allegedly surrounded the house and arrested them.
The presiding Judge of the High Court, Amir Mruma ordered the accused to pay Sh9 billion in fines.
The head of Anti-Drugs Unit, Nzowa, reportedly described their jailing as ‘another great achievement’ in Tanzania’s efforts to fight drug trafficking.
“Unlike a gun or pistol which kills people instantly, drugs are killing the young generation slowly. If we are not aggressive in fighting the illicit trade we may find ourselves losing the younger generation,” he said.
“The jailing of the Nigerian pastor and his co-conspirators brought to three, the number of high profile drug cases that have been heard and determined by the High Court in the space of three months.
“Early in September, the same court sentenced to 20 years a young Tanzanian, Fred William Chonde, to 20 years in jail after it found him guilty of possessing 180kg worth Sh 5.2 billion and ordered him to pay a Sh 15 billion fine,” Nzowa said.