By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
The National Drug Law Enforcement NDLEA, Akwa Ibom Command says it has arrested 244 suspects and convicted a total of 21 persons for involvement in illicit drugs trafficking between July 2020 and June 2021.
The State Commander of NDLEA, Mrs Obot Bassey, disclosed this yesterday during a press briefing in Uyo as part of activities to mark the 2021 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking held annually on June 26.
Obot who also disclosed that out of the 244 arrested suspects 214 were male while 30 were female, added that the suspects were involved in various drug offences.
She stressed that apart from the 21 convictions secured within the period under review that, 23 cases were undergoing prosecution at different stages in Courts.
Her words, “A total of 600kg of the drug were seized during this period, which includes; Cannabis sativa, Cocaine, Heroin and Psychotropic substances. The data for the year under review shows that there is an increase in the number of seizures recorded as compared to 562kg of drug seized between July 2019 and June 2020.
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“The consequences of drug abuse comes in various ways. They may be in the form of physical consequences such as health challenges, organ damage or failures, injuries due to accidents, mental challenges due to depression and other psychological dysfunctions.
“The impacts of illicit trafficking are severe. It may lead to systemic crime and violence becoming endemic in affected countries. Traffickers may also attempt to corrupt public officials to protect them from the law”
The NDLEA Commander stressed that efforts must be made to sensitise and create awareness on the devastating consequences of drug abuse and Illicit trafficking on youths and society, and called on the youths to desist from dealing in illegal drugs business and drug abuse.
She reterated the commitment of the command to ensure
Akwa Ibom is rid of illicit drugs for the well-being and interest of the people.
She commended state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for donating a brand new Hilux van to support the command to effectively carry out its activities of making the state drug free.