By Kenneth Ehigiator
LAGOS State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, arrested no fewer thanÂ 201 suspected drug dealers in 2009, comprising 181 males and 20 females.
The command also intercepted andÂ seizedÂ 4,373.677kg of illicit drugs, with cannabis, otherwise known as Indian hemp, accounting for over 99 per cent (about 4,368.989kg) of total drugs seized, whileÂ cocaine and heroin accounted for 3.388 kg and 1.3 kg respectively.
Lagos State Commander, Mr. Wesley Midala, who reeled out the statistics weekend, said efforts by the command led to the reduction in such criminal activities as armed robbery, murder, kidnap and similar acts of violence perpetrated under the influence of narcotic and psychotropic drugs.
According to him, â€œwe simply complemented the efforts of Police and other law enforcement officers with the seizure of illicit drugs in the state as drug control is a sine qua non for a crime free society.â€
He said over 50 black spots used by drug addicts in the state were constantly raided and dislodged in 2009, and that 131 drug-dependent persons were successfully counselled and rehabilitated within the period under review.
Midala said the agency secured 83 convictions for illicit drug deals in 2009, and that the highest seizure took place in the last quarter of the year with 3,253.02 kg.
According to him, this was followed by the first quarter with 835.167kg, the second quarter with 179.992 and third quarter with 105.498 kg
Midala explained that the clampdown, which took place within a week began Monday, December 14, 2009 when 158 sacks of cannabis, weighing 1,528.18 kg, were recovered in a residential building at Ikorodu area of Lagos.