STATUTORY INTERPRETATION- APPLICATION OF THE EJUSDEM-GENERIC RULE OF INTERPRETATION
“In making my decision, I have called in aid what my learned brother Ariwoola JSC stated in Okewu v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2012) All FWLR (Pt. 625) 205 at 223.
”There is no doubt that all drugs mentioned in Section 10 (h) of the Law, that is Cocaine, LSD and Heroine with Cannabis Sativa otherwise known as Indian hemp are substances that are known to alter users perception or consciousness. They are also narcotic drugs hence; they are all prohibited by law. In other words, Cocaine, LSD, Heroine and Indian hemp are prohibited in the same way because they are all drugs that alter one’s perception or consciousness hence the prohibition by law. As a result, I am not in the slightest doubt and I hereby say with conviction that the Court below was right to hold that the substance called Indian hemp, otherwise known as Cannabis Sativa falls within the phrase “any other similar drugs” used in Section 10 (h) of the NDLEA Act pursuant to which the Appellant was charged, convicted and sentenced by the Tribunal”.
The wordings “Any other similar drugs” used in Section 10 (h) of the NDLEA Act is the same as used in Section 10 (c) of the same NDLEA Act.
Similarly, in the same Okewu’s case supra at page 226 – 227, paras. C – B Mohammed JSC posited as follows:-
“Thus, all the necessary intendments of what Section 10 (h) of the Decree stipulates must include Cannabis Sativa as forming part of “other drugs”, as it falls in its usage among such drugs that are smoked, inhaled, or injected into human body to cause the dullness of the senses, induce profound sleep or even cause stupor, coma, convulsions, or hallucination. It indeed is destructive drug that must not only be controlled but prohibited, and any person who is established to possess or use it however without lawful authority must be made to face heavy punishments to serve as deterrent to others”.
PER. MARY .U. PETER-OPILI. JSC. in Nura Ochala V. Federal Republic Of Nigeria (January 2016) APPEAL NO: SC. 728/2013 https://legalpediaonline.com/nura-ochala-v-federal-republic-of-nigeria/