17,647 Drug Offenders, 10 Barons Arrested In 17 Months – Marwa

NDLEA Chairman, Mohamed Buba Marwa, speaks during a meeting in Abuja on February 7, 2022. Credit: NDLEA

 

A total of 17, 647 drug offenders and 10 barons have been arrested in the past 17 months, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said on Monday.

NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brigadier-General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) stated this during a press conference in Abuja, saying that over 2,369 convicts were jailed with more than 11,000 drug users counselled and treated within the same period.

READ ALSO: NDLEA Arrests 345 Suspected Drug Dealers, Rehabilitates 388 Others In Katsina

His remark is to kick start activities to mark this year’s UN day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking under the theme: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises”.

“For us at the Agency, we are abreast of time and trends as shown by the priority accorded treatment and care,” Marwa said in a statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi.

“In 2021, about 8,000 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated, in most cases through brief interventions. We continued the effort in the first five months of 2022, whereby an additional 3,523 were also counselled and treated in NDLEA facilities.

“Simultaneously, we have continued to shut the tap of illicit flow of drugs with the arrest of over 17,647 offenders including 10 drug barons between January 2021 and May 2022; more than 2,369 convicted and jailed within the same period while 154,667.339kg drugs have been seized in the first five months of this year alone.”

According to the NDLEA boss, changing dynamics have forced a paradigm shift that encompasses a balanced approach to tackling the drug problem in the country.

While stating that the agency’s Drug Demand Reduction Department has been galvanised and working non-stop to ensure that the health aspect of the drug abuse calculus is getting adequate attention, Marwa said other measures are being taken to strengthen the process.

He added, “The Agency’s policy of Drug Integrity Test is predicated on getting help to drug users suffering in silence because they cannot seek the needed health treatment due to social stigma and discrimination.

“This is why in a short while from now, we’ll be unveiling the NDLEA Call Centre that will be manned by professionals and experts in counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, and more to offer help to drug users who will make use of our toll-free lines to seek counselling 24/7. This will also enable those afraid of stigmatisation to be able to seek help without necessarily being seen or identified by anyone.

“Even as we rev up our drug supply reduction offensive, it is certain that we are not relenting on getting help to those suffering from drug use disorder.  The forthcoming sensitization training on Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Care (DPTC) for Governors’ Wives will bolster the effort to ensure that the consequences of drug abuse are nipped in the bud and prevented from snowballing into a public health problem that would overwhelm our society in the long run.

“This year’s theme will go a long way in directing our attention to an area that requires collective effort to stave off future catastrophes.”

Nollywood Actors Meet Marwa, Declare Support For Drug War

NDLEA Chairman, Mohamed Buba Marwa, speaks during a meeting with the Actor Guild of Nigeria in Abuja on February 7, 2022. Credit: NDLEA

 

Nollywood leaders under the aegis of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) have backed the ongoing war against drug abuse in Nigeria even as they expressed their preparedness to join the crusade against the scourge.

They gave the assurance on Monday during a meeting with the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) at the National Headquarters of the agency in Abuja.

While commending the Nollywood actors and the entertainment industry for projecting the image of Nigeria, Gen. Marwa expressed confidence that the campaign against drug abuse in the country will go far with the offer of partnership and support from the leadership of AGN.

“We want the Guild to set a good example by leading the war within its circle. Your movies must promote messages against the use of illicit drugs because the minds of millions are shaped by what they watch in movies,” he said.

“We need you to set up War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, committees within your industry.”

READ ALSO: 2023: Nigeria Is Living On Extra Time – Sanusi

He said with drug use prevalence in the country three times the global average, the agency needs committed partners like the guild to mobilise the citizenry against the menace. According to him, a number of artists don’t only use them, they also encourage others to abuse drugs through their work and activities on social media.

Speaking earlier, the National President of AGN, Emeka Rollas Ejezie said, “We are here today to affirm our complete support to your efforts in combating the menace of drugs in our society as we strongly believe will help reduce drug crime to the barest minimum.

“As a guild of major influencers and in line with our set objectives to educate, inform and entertain as well as our avowed commitment to national development, we seek a mutually beneficial partnership with the NDLEA to leverage on the star-power of our members in promoting some of your transformation programs especially on drug trafficking and abuses”.

Listing the areas where he wants the guild to collaborate with the NDLEA, he said “the majority of our members are youths and appeal to a generation of youths who are influenced heavily by internet content and social media.

“We have therefore outlined some advocacy programs to enlighten Nigerian youths on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking; they include but are not limited to: production of skits majorly for social media campaigns; drama series on negative effects of drug abuses, rehabilitations, eradicating the fear of stigmatization and advantages of total abstinence; engage some of our A-list actors as NDLEA Ambassadors to help use their star power to discourage the youths from doing drugs, among others.

“We share in the dream of a better Nigeria where success will be the reward for hard work and not through drug trafficking and other drug-related offences.

“The era of glorifying drug barons and criminals is far gone and the Actors Guild of Nigeria, as ambassadors of Nigeria’s image, is readily available for advocacy campaigns, talk-shops, production of skits, playlets, feature films, etc. on the menace of drug abuse and trafficking,” he stated.

Apart from the National President, Emeka Rollas Ejezie, other members of the delegation include Mohammed Kareem, Vice President North Central; veteran actor, Zulu Adigwe; Steve Eboh; Onwurah Agility Ifeanyi; Waash Waziri, Vice President North West; Nazareth Jesse Bako, Mayor AGN Abuja; Pamela Abah; Veteran actor, Lisa Onu, and Hajiya Salma Ibrahim, Chairman AGN Kaduna.

See more photos from the meeting below:

Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum Backs NDLEA, Seeks Partnership On Drug War

Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum on February 4 met with NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa in Abuja.
Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum on February 4, 2022, met with NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa in Abuja.

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum has declared total support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and its ongoing war against abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs, while seeking a formidable partnership that will secure the states and Nigeria from the menace of drug sub-culture.

This, according to a statement by NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, was the highlight of a meeting between the leadership of the forum and the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) at the Agency’s National Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday 3rd February.

Ekiti state First Lady and Chairperson of NGWF, Erelu Bisi Fayemi led the delegation, which includes First Lady of Kwara, Mrs. Olufolake Abdulrasaq; Imo, Mrs. Chioma Uzodinma and Yobe, Hajiya Hafsat Kollere Buni.

READ ALSO: Protest Rocks Adekunle Ajasin University Over Incessant Road Crashes

Welcoming the governors’ wives, Gen. Marwa expressed appreciation for the visit, adding that the interest shown by them in the country’s drug problem shows their humanity and commitment to support their husbands engender a better society devoid of drug-induced criminalities.

“Let me put it on record that President Muhammadu Buhari is the number one drug fighter in Nigeria today because of all he has done to ensure the country wins the war against abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs. As such, we count on the states especially the governors’ wives as the pillars and partners through which citizens across the states, local councils and communities are mobilised to reject this ravaging sub-culture”, he stated.

He charged the governors’ wives to work with their husbands to make the drug problem a major priority on their agenda; support the state commands of NDLEA with logistics; set up rehabilitation centres; provide jobs and skills for the youths; massive advocacy campaigns on state-owned media houses and mandatory drug tests for students, workers as well as intending couples among others.

In her remarks, Erelu Fayemi said they came on the visit to inform Gen. Marwa of their collective decision to adopt drug abuse as a flagship project “to address the alarming problem of drug abuse in our communities.”

According to her, “We are therefore here today to pledge our support for NDLEA to ensure that our country and communities become drug free. We are not willing to stand by as mothers and see our children consumed by this menace.”

They presented four requests, all of which were instantly granted by Gen. Marwa. Their demands include that NDLEA continues to see State First Ladies as important allies in furtherance of the objectives of the agency; involve them in the fight against drugs as Champions in their respective States; help build the capacity of State Frist Ladies and their teams to be effective partners in the war against drug abuse and involve them in national and State campaigns against drugs.

In their contributions, the First Ladies of Kwara, Imo and Yobe expressed their willingness to key into the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA advocacy agenda and the National Drug Control Master Plan, NDCMP, of the agency in their respective states.

We’ve Set Up Task Force To Dismantle Cartel Behind Mkpuru Mmiri – Marwa

NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa.
NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa.

 

Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has said that a special task force is currently working across the country to track and dismantle drug cartels behind the production and distribution of methamphetamine, popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri, being abused by youths in parts of the country.

He stated this while answering questions from journalists at a press briefing at the Agency’s national headquarters in Abuja on Monday 24th January, 2022 to mark his first anniversary as Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA.

NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Monday disclosed that Marwa challenged communities across Nigeria to take ownership of the war against drug abuse as those in South East states are doing by standing up to those engaging in abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs.

READ ALSO: NDLEA Raids Abuja Garden, Arrests Six Over Drug Cookies, Noodles

“If you look at the preponderance of the dealers in drugs, I’m not saying anything new but the South East has the predominance and that’s a fact. Who are the Boko Haram people? I know they are not Yoruba and I know they are not people from Edo, but if you go to the North West and ask who are the bandits, I know they are not from Cross River or from Lagos.

“If you ask the people doing the human trafficking, the women, you know from where. So definitely, we have the preponderance of the drug dealers from the South East, but what more do you have; the greatest efforts by communities to rid the country and their communities of drug use is from the South East.

“Clearly, in the same South East, they are doing two things; first, they are telling their fellow travelers who are not decent, that look ‘you are the very few who are spoiling our names here. Stop it!’

“And more importantly, they are riding their communities of drug abuse, they have taken the ownership of the war themselves against drug abuse especially the Mkpuru-Mmiri. By the way, we have set up a special task force to face that challenge and very soon you would hear and see the results of our efforts.

“In essence, what I am saying is that, I am now taking the South East as an example, for all the other communities in Nigeria. This war has to start from the bottom, from the communities; set up your War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, Committees.

“In every community, you are the ones who know those patent medicine stores that sell drugs, the mai shayi, those at the corner ends of the streets who sell and hawk drugs, you know the traffickers and you know those who use them.

“Take this war to your communities because you know these people, cleanse your communities, and take the ownership of this war and the NDLEA will always be there to back you up.

However, the NDLEA does not and will not support the flogging of the culprits and some of the other human rights abuses. We will be there to support with counseling and treatments. And I urge the entire country to take an example of the ownership of the war against drug abuse from the South East,” Marwa stated.

He attributed the successes recorded in the drug war in the past year to God, support of President Muhammadu Buhari, National Assembly, Minister of Justice and other stakeholders including international partners such as UNODC, EU, and foreign governments as well as local CSOs and NGOs.

The NDLEA boss listed the arrest of 12, 306 suspects, including 7 drug barons; conviction of 1, 400 offenders; seizure of over 3.4 million kilograms of assorted drugs; drugs and cash worth over N130 billion and the counselling and rehabilitation of 7, 761 drug users as some of the achievements recorded in 2021 in the area of operation.

While promising to build on the foundation laid in 2021, Gen. Marwa said the Agency under his leadership now has a clear roadmap to the future.

According to him, “The Agency has come a long way. And there is still a long way to go. We have a clear vision of where we are headed, and there is a roadmap to that destination.

“Today, the improvement in our fortune as an organisation is driving the NDLEA workforce to continue to push for the attainment of organisational goals and fulfillment of our core mandate of securing our country against the drug scourge. We all believe in the vision of the new NDLEA and we are committed to its mission. Our mandate is to ensure a drug-free Nigeria. We shall continue to play our role towards the achievement of that goal.”

Turn Over A New Leaf Or Lose It All, NDLEA Boss Warns Drug Barons

File Photo of NDLEA Chairman Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd).

 

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) has asked all those still involved in the illicit drug business to turn over a new leaf or risk losing their freedom and assets in the new year.

The anti-drug czar in his new year message said the NDLEA and its workforce are moving into 2022 “with a resolution to rid the country of illicit substances and to continue our aggressive pursuit of drug cartels, barons and traffickers anywhere they may be within the country or even outside.”

He said “Given our pedigree in 2021, there should be no doubt whatsoever about our capability to carry out these stated objectives.

“In the past year, we have scaled up our capability and reinvigorated our anti-narcotic activities. Our efforts have yielded arrests and interdictions. That should be a clear signal to anyone in the drug trade that the rules of the game have changed.

“In 2022, our goals remain the same: to dismantle drug cartels and syndicates, and that include arresting and having drug offenders jailed by the court and ultimately to rid our society of all traces of illicit substances.”

Read Also: Air Force Kill Two Notorious Bandit Leaders, Several Others In Zamfara

While leaving open a window of repentance for those in the trade, Marwa said; “there is still a window of opportunity for drug traffickers and barons: Now is the time for them to turn over a new leaf before NDLEA turn on the heat and they lose it all. Since most of them are in the business to amass wealth and now they have made fortunes from this trade that harms society, therefore, it is time to quit.

“We call on them to think about the common good, to think about the future of this country, to think about the young and coming generations. Let commonsense prevail and on your own volition make a significant contribution towards the effort to have a drug-free society where peace and harmony reign.

“We have seen the havoc of illicit drugs from the ugly development in parts of our nation due to drug abuse by youths and also from the general blight caused by abuse of Cannabis across the country.

“Those who heed this warning will thank themselves for taking the wise decision to quit the drug trade in the days ahead. Those who think and act otherwise can be assured of a tough year in 2022.

“They can take a cue from what happened in 2021, where the Agency secured various jail terms for over 1, 200 drug traffickers, including nationals of other countries and we brought to book six drug barons, including those outside the country and those who had been on the run for as long as 10 years.”

Emphasising Nigeria’s determination to win the drug war, Gen. Marwa said with the full support of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, the Judiciary and the citizenry, NDLEA will leave no stone unturned to fulfill its mandate in 2022.

“In this campaign against drug abuse and trafficking of illicit substances, the Agency has the public support 100%.

“The Presidency is backing NDLEA to the hilt. Lawmakers are giving the Agency the necessary leverage. And in the court of law, as proven by recent developments, there is no respite for drug traffickers and barons. Likewise, we have a good rapport with international partners.

“Hence, those who deal in illicit substances can be certain that NDLEA’s long arms will reach them and they will face severe penalties from the law,” he added.

We Have Willpower To Tackle Illicit Drugs – Marwa

FILE PHOTO: Mohamed Buba Marwa

 

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa says the agency is determined to tackle illicit drugs in the country despite the myriads of challenges its operatives encounter occasionally.

In an excerpt from a piece published in the agency’s magazine, the NDLEA boss said he is confident that NDLEA now holds all the aces and stands a good chance of curbing the drug menace in the country.

Marwa who reeled out some of the recent feats attained by the agency, was optimistic that the NDLEA is going to bring drug prevalence figures down, even though at the moment they still remain at a worrisome number.

READ ALSO: ‘We Have To Fortify Maiduguri Town’: Zulum Reacts To Rocket Attacks

According to the NDLEA chief, June was a month of strategic development and significant developments for the agency included the launch of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) initiative, the unveiling of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP 2021-2025) and the release of the Standard Policy and Practice Guidelines (SPPG) for the Agency’s counselling centres.

These he noted were in addition to the agency’s continuing blistering performance in terms of record arrest and conviction of drug traffickers and unprecedented seizures of consignments of assorted illicit substances.

Notwithstanding, Mr Marwa stressed that it is not yet ‘Uhuru’. He insisted that “the drug prevalence in Nigeria is worrisome, especially when compared with the global average”.

He said, “from the last UNODC/Ministry of Health survey in 2018, we now know that 14.3 million Nigerians, between the ages of 15 and 64, abuse drugs. The World Drug Report ranked Nigeria as the leading country in the abuse of cannabis. These statistics should worry Nigerians.”

The NDLEA CEO, however, assured that the statistics will change for the better, explaining that his optimism is founded on solid premises.

“We are now an intelligence-based organization, and the purpose of our strategies is to exterminate illicit drug supply or, at least, control it; while at the same time, we are ramping up our drug demand reduction efforts. With UNODC, we have launched a standard policy guideline for counselling for NDLEA counsellors. So, our strategies encapsulate prevention, treatment, and aftercare,” he declared.

Resist Temptations From Drug Barons, Marwa Charges New NDLEA Officers

 

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has charged about 2,000 newly trained officers of the anti-narcotics body to resist every temptation that will make them compromise their duties and responsibilities.

Gen. Marwa gave the charge at the passing out parade of the new officers at the NDLEA Academy, Jos, Plateau state on Friday 19th November, 2021.

He reminded them that they were coming into the Agency at a time when the institution is being overhauled to make it more effective and efficient, and as such their months of training at the Academy must count through impactful contributions to its goal of ridding Nigeria of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

READ ALSO: Lady Bags 15 Years Imprisonment For Drug Trafficking In Edo, Ogun

In his words, “You are coming into the Agency at an auspicious time when the management has pushed the reset button and commenced the overhaul of the old system and its encumbrances. Your employment coincides with a time we are putting in place all that is necessary to foster the enabling work environment that makes a career in the NDLEA gratifying.

“Having been given the necessary training, we expect you to make your presence count with impact contributions to the achievement of the Agency’s objectives in its campaign against abuse and trafficking of illicit substances. Qualities such as loyalty, discipline and diligence would help you to have a fulfilling career in a paramilitary organisation such as NDLEA.

NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, addressed new recruits on November 19, 2021.
NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, addressed new recruits on November 19, 2021.

 

“Let me also bring to your awareness how important you are now to society. Only very few occupations afford an individual the opportunity of direct, meaningful impact on society’s wellbeing. You are part of a community of custodians who are assigned the responsibility of safeguarding society’s sanity and safety against the corrosion of illicit substances. And today, I charge you thus: do not disappoint the Agency, and the society at large, and more importantly, do not disappoint yourselves.”

Warning them that they would be faced with temptations from the dark world of drug barons and their cartels, Gen. Marwa said the new officers and their senior compatriots must remain upright and patriotic always.

“I will not downplay the fact that the world of illicit drugs is a dark, dangerous underworld that must be met with uprightness, patriotism and strong will. That is why we are working purposely to put in place a welfare package that will shield you from circumstances or conditions that may predispose you to compromise your duties and responsibilities.

“Your upbringing and the training you have undergone should imbue you with the moral fibre to withstand the lure of filthy lucre, which is the weapon of drug barons.

“In whatever circumstance you may find yourselves in the course of your careers, think first about the greater good. And always remember that traffickers, barons and cartels are opposing forces with whom you must not have any communion whatsoever. As you take the first major step as anti-narcotic agents, I wish you a successful, fulfilling career in the NDLEA.”

He said the official passing out parade of Narcotic Officers Course 15, 2021, coming barely seven weeks after the passing out of Narcotic Assistants in September, is yet another phase in the rapid evolution of the NDLEA.

“In the 32 years of this Agency, this is the largest Course ever for Assistant Superintendent of Narcotics (ASN) cadre and the first in seven years. Today, the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse is being reinforced with the addition of about 2,000 new officers into field operations, where you will be joining your compatriots across Nigeria,” he added.

NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, addressed new recruits on November 19, 2021.

 

While commending the leadership and staff of the Academy for doing a great job in the training of such number of officers and men, as well as other stakeholders who helped to make the exercise successful, Gen. Marwa noted that whatever transformation is happening in the Agency is made possible through the unflinching support of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“At this time, let me seize this opportunity to appreciate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, whose political will, support and encouragement to NDLEA has brought about the renaissance in the Agency today,” he stated.

The ceremony was the highpoint of a weeklong visit to Plateau State by the NDLEA Chairman/CEO who had earlier held advocacy meetings and deliberations on the dangers of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking with the state governor, Simon Bako Lalong; First Class traditional rulers in the state led by HRM Da Jacob Gyang Buba; leaders of local communities and local government council chairmen; leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and Council of Ulamas; leaders of road transport unions; heads of security agencies in the state and a broad spectrum of other stakeholders.

Marwa had seized the opportunity of the meetings to appreciate their support for the NDLEA and called for more collaboration in the renewed fight stamp out the twin evil of drug abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs from Nigeria.

The GOC 3Division, Major Gen. IS Ali had seized the opportunity of the NDLEA chairman’s visit to hand over to him 350kg of cannabis seized by soldiers of Operation Safe Heaven while the Commander of the 551 NAF Station, Air Commodore Bidemi Marquis expressed commitment to partner with the state Command of the Agency.

The colourful passing out parade was attended by eminent dignitaries from within and outside the state including Governor Simon Bako Lalong represented by his deputy, Prof Sonni Tyoden; Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Senator Hezekiah Dimka; Chairman, House Committee on Narcotic Drugs, Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo; top state officials and heads of other security agencies in the state, among others.

Any Politician Caught Encouraging Illicit Drug Use Won’t Be Spared, Says Marwa

NDLEA Boss, Buba Marwa, at the State House in Abuja on October 21, 2021.

 

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, has warned politicians against sponsoring or encouraging the use of illicit drugs.

Marwa stated this on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing at the State House in Abuja.

He stressed that where there was evidence of the involvement of any politician in illicit drug business, the agency would not hesitate to prosecute anyone involved.

According to the NDLEA boss, the agency will never support the economic use of cannabis because there is no scientific proof that it heals.

 

With about 10.6 million users, Nigeria leads in the consumption of cannabis, hence its legalisation would never be considered in the interest of the nation, he added.

Marwa proposed that politicians should not only advance advocacy against illicit drug use but be subjected to a test before being entrusted with the responsibility of public offices.

He proposed 20 years or life sentence for drug traffickers to replace the option of a fine, as enshrined in the NDLEA Act currently under revision in the National Assembly.

Four Arrested As NDLEA Uncovers Abuja Hotel Where Drugs Are Sold

 

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have uncovered a hotel in Abuja where drugs are allegedly sold and young ladies camped for commercial sex.

At least four persons; three ladies and a man were arrested when the said drug joint, JAT Suites, located at 30 Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2 was raided and some quantities of Rohypnol and paraphernalia – for smoking crack cocaine –  were recovered on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

Investigations reveal that the hotel is operated without requisite approvals in a high-profile neighborhood and patronised by call girls while the bar serves as the spot to smoke and sell drugs to the young girls and their customers.

In a statement on Sunday, the agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, explained that the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa has directed the FCT Command and the Directorate of Assets and Financial Investigations of the agency to do all within the law to ensure the property is forfeited to the Federal Government to serve as a deterrent to others who allow their premises to be used for drug dealing.

READ ALSO: NYSC Member Nabbed As NDLEA Intercepts Drugged Candies From UK

A photo collage of the suspects.

 

Similarly, one Ms. Ozigbo Joy Nneka was arrested at the NAHCO Export Shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Wednesday while trying to export packs of codeine tablets weighing 15.15kg to the United Kingdom.

A day earlier, narcotic officers at the airport also arrested one Nwajindo Ndubuisi Emmanuel during inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers at the e-arrival hall. Some bottles of codeine weighing 5.65kg were recovered from him.

Also at the airport, a total of 150.30kg of khat was seized on Monday 20th September after six weeks of placing the consignment, which arrived at SAHCO shed on August 2, via a Kenya Airways cargo flight, on surveillance.

In a related development, two female part one students of the Edo State Polytechnic, Uzen, Babalola Modupe Angel (19) and Esekhagbe Sonia (20) were arrested on Thursday, with 21 wraps of skunk, while another lady, Chioma Okocha, 25, was arrested the following day when she reportedly tried to deliver 200 grams of crack cocaine to a customer at an eatery in Benin.

Earlier on the same day, men of the Irrua Area Command of the agency, working on actionable intelligence, evacuated 10 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 135kg in Amahor bush in Igueben. The exhibits were stored and ready for transportation to other parts of the country.

In the same vein, men of the Okada Area Command in the early hours of Sunday 26th September evacuated 2,937 kilograms of cannabis sativa from Utese forest in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo state.

In Kaduna State, Mrs. Fatima Musa, a widow and notorious drug dealer was arrested on Saturday 18th September at Afana village in Zango Kataf LGA while moving 12kg of cannabis to Jos.

She had earlier been convicted and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment on 7th July 2020 following her arrest on 3rd March 2020 with 45kg of cannabis sativa.

While commending the officers and men of the FCT, MMIA, Edo and Kaduna commands of the agency for the raids, arrests and seizures in the past week, Gen. Marwa urged them not to rest on their oars until drug trafficking is reduced to the barest minimum in Nigeria.

Drugs Worth Over ₦100bn Seized, 1,630 Criminals Jailed – NDLEA Chairman

 

Since January 2021, drugs worth over ₦100billion have been seized and about 1,630 criminals arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

This is according to NDLEA Chairman, General Buba Marwa.

Addressing journalists on Friday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Gen Marwa who gave a brief of milestones attained since he became head of the NDLEA, said it is sad how low the nation had coped as regards the illegal use of drug.

“Nigeria has 10.6million cannabis users, this is the highest in the world, isn’t it sad?” the NDLEA Chairman asked rhetorically.

READ ALSO: 402 Cybercrime Suspects Arrested In Lekki In Three Months – EFCC

While noting that the cash accruing from the seizures has been sent to the Central Bank, the former military administrator believed a nation with such a high record of drug use should not be contemplating the legalisation of marijuana.

The NDLEA boss explained that scientists are yet to develop a way to make the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level in cannabis, drop to zero, and as such the recreational drug is still very harmful to health.

“It’s a danger to society and we must never allow its legalization,” Mr Marwa argued, adding that “this is something we need to kill.”

Cannabis legalisation

According to the NDLEA Chairman, legalization of cannabis is something that the legislature will never agree to because the lawmakers know the implications of such an action.

“We can never support legalisation and I don’t see how the National Assembly will pass the act because I know 90 percent or more of the honourables and distinguished members in the National Assembly know the implications of their legislation.

“They dare not go back to their constituencies if anyone signs the legislation because we are seeing the implications on the ground, the youths, the families all being destroyed because of cannabis and drugs,” Mr Marwa emphasised.

Debates regarding a proposed legalization of cannabis in Nigeria have from time to time been brought to the fore especially since President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Gen. Marwa as NDLEA Chairman earlier in the year.

The retired brigadier general who was a former Military Administrator of Lagos State has since taking office, stood his grounds against the legalisation of marijuana.

In opposing the demands for the approval of cannabis in Nigeria, Marwa would always argue that the nation cannot afford to mortgage the lives of the citizens for financial gains.

For the NDLEA Chairman, the agency will continue to burn down marijuana farms and prosecute whoever is caught doing the business.

Legalising Cannabis Will Cause Setback For Nigeria, Says Marwa

A file photo of Cannabis stored in sacks.

 

The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, on Monday condemned the move to legalise Cannabis Sativa in Nigeria.

He called on all well-meaning individuals to resist such an attempt by some public office holders, saying it would frustrate the war against drug abuse in the country.

“With over 8, 634 arrests; 2,776,000 kilogrammes of drugs worth over N100 billion seized; 1,630 convictions; 3,232 cases in court, and over 4,000 drug users counselled and rehabilitated between January and now, we are already making substantial progress in our drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi.

Marwa, who spoke when he visited Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, added, “We are, however, convinced that the ongoing attempts by some of our elected officials to legalise Cannabis which is being abused by over 10.6 million Nigerians will be a drawback for the achievements so far.

“This is why I want to implore Your Excellency and Kano State not to support the attempt to legalise Cannabis.”

The NDLEA chief, who led top officials of the agency on a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy visit to Kano, urged the governor not to support any bid  by some elected officials to legalise Cannabis Sativa.

NDLEA chief, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, presents a souvenir to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje during a visit to the Kano State Government House on August 30, 2021.

 

According to him, the NDLEA is doing so much to cut availability and accessibility to illicit drugs across Nigeria and that any attempt to legalise the illicit substance will be a setback to the progress made so far.

Marwa warned landlords to ensure that they do not accommodate drug traffickers in their houses, as the NDLEA would not hesitate to seek forfeiture of any property used to store illicit drugs when offenders are caught.

He asked Governor Ganduje to support the NDLEA with 25 hectares of land to build barracks in the state and a property that would house a zonal command office in Kano.

The anti-drug agency chief commended his host for making drug test a prerequisite for public officials and those aspiring into public office in the state.

In his response, Governor Ganduje declared his opposition to any attempt to legalise Cannabis Sativa in the country even.

For the governor, no lawmaker from the state will support such a bid in the National Assembly and the fight against drug abuse is key to winning the battle against insecurity in the country.

He granted the requests for land and accommodation for a zonal command and assured his guest that the Kano State government would always discourage drug abuse and trafficking.

NDLEA To Go After Supermarkets, Confectionaries Selling Cannabis Cookies, Others – Marwa

The NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, receives a briefing from the FCT Command of the Agency, Mohammed Malami Sokoto on April 23, 2021. Credit: NDLEA

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has warned owners/operators of supermarkets and confectionaries to rid their stores of cannabis cookies, biscuits and other prod­ucts laced with illicit substances.

NDLEA Chairman/ Chief Executive, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) gave the warning on Friday while receiving a further briefing on follow-up operations from the Commander, FCT Command of the Agency, Mohammed Malami Sokoto.

This followed the arrest of a 300-level university student, Rhoda Agboje and her boyfriend, Ifeanyi Nwankwo, both of who specialise in producing and selling drug cookies to schoolchildren, clubs and supermarkets in Abuja.

“As part of our preventive measures, we’ll henceforth go after supermar­kets, clubs, confectionaries and other outlets and their owners, selling drug cookies, biscuits, cakes and other prod­ucts laced with illicit substances under whatever guise,” he said.

READ ALSO: NDLEA Nabs Two Suspects For Selling Cannabis Cookies To School Children

“We’ll not shy away from hitting their production spots, supply and sales outlets before getting into the hands of innocent schoolchildren, unsuspecting members of the public and even our vulnerable young men and women. We won’t rest on this un­til we chase them out of this criminal business.

“This is why I want to seize this opportunity to warn owners and operators of supermarkets, clubs and other sales outlets to clean their stores of these illicit substances before we get to them.”

 

The suspects were arrested for producing the cookies with Arizona, a highly psychoactive variant of cannabis; alcohol, and Rohypnol among other ingredients.

Their lid was blown open following the arrest of Rhoda Agboje with four pieces of the drug cookies on Sunday, 18th April 2021.

She was arrested at the NNPC Cooperative Estate, opposite Gaduwa Estate in Abuja based on a complaint that she gave an unsuspecting young girl the cookies to eat. After eating the drug cookies, the girl lost her mind and could not sleep, making incoherent utterances due to the effects of the cookies.

Under interrogation, the prime suspect, Rhoda confessed that she prepares the cookies with a friend and sells each pack of three pieces at N1, 500. A follow-up operation in her boyfriend’s house led to the recovery of over 200 pieces of the drug cookies.