The Federal High Court in Lagos, Tuesday sentenced Sunny Ade’s former guitarist, Fatoke Abiodun, who was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to three years imprisonment for drug trafficking.
Abiodun, who was brought before Justice S. Seidu of the Federal High Court pleaded guilty to one count charge of unlawful exportation of 1.575kg of cocaine.
The defence counsel, Mr Bayo Onifade, had pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy since the convict is 62 years old, a husband of three wives with 12 children.
In his ruling, Justice Seidu sentenced the convict to three years imprisonment with effect from the date of arrest. He noted that the appeal of the defence counsel and the fact that the convict pleaded guilty without wasting the time of the court were carefully considered.
It will be recalled that Fatoke Abiodun was apprehended by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on January 1, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos. The convict who played guitar for music star, King Sunny Ade for over three decades was caught while attempting to board an Air France flight to Italy. During search, two parcels of cocaine weighing 1.575kg were found industrially hidden in the false bottom of his luggage.
Fatoke reportedly blamed his involvement on financial hardship. According to Fatoke, “after my primary education, I only did one year in the secondary school before I went into music. I can play any kind of guitar but my music career is a sad story.
I played for King Sunny Ade for 30 years before I was unceremoniously retired in 2007. I was unprepared and without severance money I saw the bitter side of life. This is my first time of involving myself in drug trafficking. I did it out of frustration because at my age I could not provide for my family. I am ashamed of myself”.
Speaking on how he got involved in drug trafficking, Fatoke explained that he got a call from a friend. “I live in Ibadan with my family. I was invited to Lagos where I was given 50,000 naira and they promised that every arrangement will be ready for me to travel soon.
They promised to pay me one million naira. If not for my condition, I would have turned down the offer but it was my last hope to be free from financial difficulty. I was given the bag and my ticket but at the airport NDLEA detected the drug. Since then, I have been in deep pain. I feel bad because I have no one to help me” Fatoke regretted.