April 16, 2024

NDLEA arrests 50, 901 suspects, convicts 9,034

BREAKING: NDLEA writes APC, seeks drugs integrity test for Politicians before Primaries
  • As UK builds operational facility for NDLEA, pledges more support

By Evelyn Usman

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) yesterday in Lagos, disclosed that the agency had so far arrested 50,901 drug offenders including 46 barons in 38 months.

The agency according to him , had prosecuted and convicted 9,034 of them, with the seizure of over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances.

The anti narcotic agency’s boss who made the disclosure at the commissioning of an operational facility built and donated to NDLEA by the British government, said the arrest
would send the right message to drug cartels and their kingpins that Nigeria would not tolerate their criminal activities.

He said, “Our operations have undergone substantial reforms, resulting in remarkable achievements within the last three years.

“During this period, the NDLEA achieved significant milestones in its mission to combat drug trafficking and abuse.

“The conviction of 9,034 offenders underscores our relentless pursuit of accountability and deterrence in the fight against drug-related crimes.

“Our seizure of 7,560,748.5 kilograms (7,561 tonnes) not only disrupts the flow of illegal drugs but also serves as a significant blow to the criminal networks responsible for their distribution. We have taken decisive action against illicit drug crop cultivation with our search-and-destroy campaign against cannabis plantations which have led to the destruction of 1,057.33348 hectares of cannabis farms in the past three years_, he stated.

While commending the British government for the support which he described as an unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to the agency’s cause,
Marwa, said the facility would further boost the agency’s capability in tackling the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

According to him, “From the onset of our collaboration, the UK has been a steadfast ally in our relentless pursuit to neutralise transnational organised criminal activities, particularly in the realm of illicit drug production and trafficking.

“The significance of this project cannot be overstated. It will serve as a vital hub for data analysis and strategic planning in our efforts to disrupt drug trafficking networks and apprehend those responsible. With state-of-the-art facilities and technology at our disposal, we are better equipped than ever before to tackle this complex and ever-evolving challenge head-on.

“But beyond the bricks and mortar, this building complex embodies the spirit of collaboration and solidarity that defines our partnership with the British Government. It is a testament to what can be achieved when nations come together with a shared purpose and a shared commitment to making our world a safer place for all”.

“As we stand on the threshold of a new chapter in our partnership, let us reaffirm our shared commitment to intensifying the fight against drug trafficking and organised crime. Let us continue to work hand in hand, across borders and boundaries, to disrupt criminal networks, intercept illegal drugs, and bring to justice those who seek to profit from the illicit drug trade.”

Marwa stated that though so much had been achieved under his leadership of the agency, but was quick to add that the battle against illicit drugs is far from over.

He therefore, charged the officers to redouble their efforts, with renewed vigour and determination, as they strive to build a safer and more secure future for generations to come”.

Speaking at the ceremony, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jonny Baxter assured of continued support to NDLEA and Nigeria.

He said, “We, the UK government are delighted to have this long-standing relationship with the NDLEA and I’m in particular delighted to have been personally in a number of activities especially your maritime. This building makes a whole set of different actors and capabilities to address any criminal activity.

“We’re delighted to continue our support for the NDLEA and the Nigerian government to tackle what is sadly a global industry, which needs a global response. I’ll like to join the chairman in affirming our continued support, our continued cooperation and indeed our continued pride in working together with the NDLEA”.