By Eguono Odjegba
THE Nigeria Customs Service, Western Marine Command, WMC, has destroyed seized cannabis sativa otherwise locally known as Indian Hemp, valued at about N1.0 billion in Lagos.
Present at the destruction site along Badagry Beach in Lagos were top officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, Civil Defence, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, NAFDAC, Badagary West Local Government council executives and traditional rulers.
WMC Controller, Olugboyega Peters, who led the destruction last weekend said the substance is the single largest seizure in the history of the Service, and was made along Agaja Beach area of the state following an intelligence report.
He explained that apart being in contravention of extant laws, indiscriminate consumption of the substance can elicit behavioural imbalance through the breakdown of the central nervous system leading to criminal tendencies like rape, violence, domestic disorderliness and other adverse societal consequences.
His words: “The seizure was based on credible intelligence. The smugglers on sighting our officers abandoned their consignment and jumped into the water, a terrain they know so much. This cannabis is of the highest quality as research says it is the biggest catch of a single item of cannabis ever seized in the history of the Nigeria Customs Service”
Customs Area Controller of Seme Border, Dalha Cheidi Wada, who was present at the event urged Nigerians to be compliant and respect the rules of exports and imports and to continue to support the security agencies with credible information, noting that the war against illicit drugs is a collective one.
Chairman of Badagry West Local Government, Hon Benu Joseph, commended the customs for preventing such huge amount of drugs from entering the country.
While pledging the support of his council to the fight against smuggling, he commended the Customs officers for a job well done and urged the leadership to consider them for promotion to encourage them and others to do more.