Following several hours of deliberation, the Jury at Criminal Court ‘C’ on Monday, April 7, found Shirat Nelwadda, a Ugandan citizen, guilty of trafficking 1.2 kgs of narcotic drugs valued at US$30,000 in the country.The jury said prosecution produced overwhelming evidence that convinced them to bring down the guilty verdict against the defendant.The court will announce the number of years she will spend in jail at the Monrovia Central Prison at a later date.After the verdict Monday, April 7, Nelwadda broke down in tears, but her lawyers took serious exception to the jury’s verdict, describing it as a “miscarriage of justice.”She was indicted by the government with multiple crimes, including unlawful possession, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs.She denied all of the charges when they were read to her in open court by the clerk of the court.Details of the document that brought Nelwadda under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Court— a copy of which is in the possession of this paper— said, on November 30, 2013, she was arrested with 1.2 kilograms of heroine valued at US$30,000 by joint security assigned at the RIA.The document further quoted police as saying: “the drugs were in a black suitcase that she was traveling with.”It continued: “During the investigation, the defendant said she was traveling to Liberia for the first time to meet a “boyfriend” called Ekina, who she claims not to know, but was told to meet by Nalutarya Laila, her girlfriend in Zama, Kampala, the capital city of Uganda.”It further alleged that “upon her arrival at RIA and subsequent arrest with the drugs , defendant Nelwadda could neither give the contact address or telephone number of the so-called boyfriend, who she claimed is the owner of the drugs she was carrying.”“There and then, the crimes of unlawful possession, trafficking, and distribution of a narcotic drug the defendant did commit,” police concluded in the document. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Department of Social Cohesion, in collaboration with the Region 4 Regional Democratic Council, on Tuesday held a lecture series and exhibition to recognise the contributions of persons of African descent to the history of Guyana.Officers from the Department of Youth on Tuesday coordinated a series of lectures in observance of Black History Month at the Beterverwagting Secondary School.According to Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas, the presentations focused on the crucial role of education in the history of African Guyanese.The women who were given the Outstanding Women in Region Four awards. In picture from left: Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas, Tiffany Harvey, and Regional Chairperson Jennifer AllenAspects of African culture and heritage, including slavery, colonization and the village movement, were also part of the discussions.Caricom IKEMBA representative, Onika Frank, while delivering brief remarks, encouraged the students to be proud of their culture and ancestry.Students from five secondary schools on the East Coast of Demerara attended lectures on Guyana’s African heritage, done by representatives from the African Community Development Association.Three women were also given “Outstanding Women in Region 4 awards”: Tiffany Harvey, Pauline Lucas and Jennifer Allen. These awards were presented by Alister Collins, Executive Director of the President’s Youth Award: Republic of Guyana (PYARG).The schools that attended the session yesterday were: L.B.I Secondary, Bladen Hall Secondary, Buxton Secondary, Plaisance Secondary and Beterverwaging Secondary.For the African Guyanese community, Black History Month is usually a time for sober reflection on the state of the community. This is of course not a new call; it is repeated at every moment of Black observancePersons of African ancestry all over the world continue to suffer from the scars of a history of bondage. It is for that reason that Black History Month continues to have great relevance.