The specialised chamber for international crimes at the High Court on Thursday sentenced a Nigerian woman to six years in prison for drug trafficking.
Priscilla Duru was arrested at Kigali International Airport in October 2016 as she tried to smuggle1.3 kilograms of heroin through Kigali en route to Nigeria.
During the hearings, she denied the charges arguing that she was given the bag by a Tanzanian woman and didn’t know the contents of the bag.
Reading the verdict, the presiding judge Alice Rulisa said that the court had established that Duru entered the country to wait for another person to give her the narcotics from Tanzania so that she could transport it to Nigeria.
High Court ruled that the suspect was well aware of the contraband, waited for over a month in Rwanda before the bag containing the drugs was brought to her.
Duru, who was in tears during the reading of the verdict, had previously begged for clemency adding that if she knew that she had been given drugs, she would have alerted the police before leaving Kigali as she indicated that she only came in Kigali after she was asked by a “family friend” who owns a pharmacy in Nigeria to carry for him a bag with a certain medicine called Ephedrine.
She claimed that she had approached him for help because she needed to cater for her children after losing her husband.
Court ruled that she will have to serve six years in Muhanga Prison, and pay two million Rwandan francs in fines.
Although at the time of her arrest, Duru claimed she didn’t know what she was carrying, when she appeared in court in January, 2017, she admitted that she was carrying heroin and begged for mercy.