Liberia: Ugandan woman gets 4-year prison sentence

Ms. Nalwadda tries to cover her face on her way to court

Ms. Nalwadda tries to cover her face on her way to court

A Ugandan woman convicted for trafficking drug into Liberia a year ago has been sentenced to four years in prison.

But Criminal Court Judge Blamo Dixon said that Shirat Nalwadda will serve her sentence in Uganda after he affirmed the jurors’ unanimous guilty verdict.

He also ordered that the convict be deported to Uganda through diplomatic channel where she will serve her  sentence.

“The guilty verdict against the Ugandan woman was in line with the weight of evidence adduced in court by state lawyers to convict her of crime of drug trafficking”, he stressed. 

Defense lawyers decided not to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court of Liberia, saying that their client was willing to serve her sentence in Uganda.

The defense lawyers’ stance thus shifted the burden on the government to foot the bill for Nalwadda’s deportation.

Nalwadda was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on three counts of unlawful possession, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drug.

According to the three-page indictment, she was arrested on November 30, 2013 at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) by state security agents with 1.2 kilograms of heroine value at US$30,000, about L$2.4m, which was concealed in black suitcase.

She informed investigators that she traveled to Liberia for the first time to meet a boyfriend call Ekina, who she did not know.

She said she was told by one Nalutarya Laila, her girlfriend in Zama, Kampala, Uganda that Ezina would be at the RIA to receive her.

Upon her arrival at the RIA, she was arrested with the drugs but failed to give the contact address or telephone number of the so-called boyfriend who she claimed to be the owner of the drugs.

Text & Photo: Peter N. Toby 

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