The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Niger State has arrested 12 suspected traffickers of hard substances, including cocaine.
Channels Television learnt that the arrests were made during the COVID-19 lockdown period in the state that resulted in an increase in cases of drug trafficking.
Confirming the development, the Acting NDLEA Commander, Isaac Aloye, said the suspects carefully wrapped the items in various forms, adding that the illegal substances were sent as waybills from various parts of the country, through cars labelled with COVID-19 pass to allow them to beat the lockdown.
Aloye noted that the items would have found their way into target communities in the state, but for his eagle-eyed men who intercepted them at various points.
Items impounded include over one thousand kilogrammes of local and assorted Cannabis Sativa also known as skunk, over 30 kilogramme of Arizona and more than 30 pinches of cocaine.
One of the suspects and a 41-year-old father of two, Enuma Uchenna, claims a friend had asked him to pick up this gas burner containing items including cocaine from a car park, saying he had no knowledge of the contents.
While six of the suspects have been charged to court, the remaining six are still being investigated for further information.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has secured 24 convictions in Katsina State in the last one month.
According to a statement on Thursday by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Mustapha Maikudi, the convictions were made by the Katsina division of the Federal High Court.
Maikudi explained that this was part of the efforts by the NDLEA to curb the menace of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the state.
He explained that the convicts bagged various jail terms ranging from three months to two years, depending on the crime they were convicted for.
One of the convicts, he said, was one Dan Umma arrested with Cannabis Sativa and psychotropic substances and sentenced to six months in the correctional facility.
Another convict, Rabiu Abdullahi arrested with psychotropic substances, was sentenced to 12 months, while Saifullahi Abdullahi arrested with Cannabis Sativa got 48 months sentence.
Maikudi said the three convicts and two others are currently serving their jail terms at correctional service centers in the state.
This comes two weeks after the command said at least 158 suspected drug dealers and users have been arrested in Katsina State – from January to June.
Of the figure, the NDLEA State Commander, Momodu Sule, said 120 drug users were counselled under the ‘Drug Demand Reduction Brisk Counselling programme’.
He added that a total of 361.15kg of assorted hard drugs have also been seized with 16 convictions prosecuted as at the time he briefed reporters on June 22.
Sule restated his determination to deal with the scourge of drug abuse in the state and called for more support and understanding from all stakeholders to win the fight against drug abuse.
According to him, banditry and drugs are the twin challenges bedevilling the North West and all hands need to be on deck to address the drug challenge in particular.
“There is no crime, I repeat, there is no crime that does not have an element of drug inside, even the much talk about corruption; so if we fight drug, we will fight insecurity,” the NDLEA Commander said.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 145 suspected drug traffickers in Edo State.
NDLEA State Commander, Wakawa Buba, disclosed this to Channels Television during a briefing on Friday to mark the 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Buba who noted that the arrest was made from January to date despite the COVID-19 pandemic said the Command also made a seizure of seven thousand, nine hundred and five (7,905) of various narcotic drugs.
“Edo command in the first half of the year arrested 145 suspects including 101 males and 44 females. The bulk of the drug is cannabis Sativa with 7,880.3128kg while psychotropic substances are 24.788kg.
“Three cannabis farms were identified and destroyed measuring 2.290259 hectares with an estimated yield of 10,993.2432kg of cannabis,” he said.
Similarly, six vehicles used in conveying illicit drugs were impounded along with one motorcycle.
Meanwhile, the agency has counselled and rehabilitated 63 persons with drug abuse disorders before reuniting with their families.
“Two others found to be abusing multiple drugs and refereed by their parents are currently undergoing counselling. The command also secured seven convictions while 174 cases are pending in court,” he added.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested 196 suspects for drug-related offences in Taraba State.
The state commander of the NDLEA, Suleiman Jadi, disclosed this on Friday at an event to mark this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
He explained that officials of the agency made the arrests between July 2019 and March 2020, noting that 39 of them have been convicted.
Jadi revealed that the suspects were arrested with about 883.76kilograms of Cannabis Sativa and psychotropic substances in different parts of the state.
He added that the command has successfully counselled 53 persons through its anti-drug abuse awareness and enlightenment campaigns and programmes.
According to the NDLEA state commander, Taraba is witnessing an increase in drug abuse since the advent of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, which is negatively affecting their daily operations.
He decried that the situation was further compounded by a substandard rehabilitation centre of the agency for victims of drug abuse.
Jadi also listed some of the challenges faced by the command to include accommodation, logistics, and rehabilitation facilities for drug addicts.
Officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Edo State have foiled a criminal attempt to smuggle eighty-three (83) kilograms of cannabis sativa concealed inside sacks of garri out of the state amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.
The interception of the dried weeds that tested positive for cannabis took place at Aviele trailer park, Etsako West Local Government Area of the State.
NDLEA Edo State Commander, Mr. Buba Wakawa who announced the latest operational breakthrough in Benin City also commended operatives of the Auchi Area command for the spectacular drug seizure.
According to him, “officers attached to the Auchi Area command acting on intelligence report raided the popular trailer park at Aviele where the dried weeds of cannabis hidden inside eight (8) sacks of garri were intercepted while preparing to smuggle the drugs out of the State. This is a very successful operation and I commend the officers for their commitment and ingenuity”.
While describing the mode of concealment as “cunning”, the commander said that preliminary investigation had revealed that a local cannabis snuggling cartel in the area is behind the cannabis consignment.
In a related operation at Uzebba forest, the command also recovered twenty (20) kilogrammes of cannabis seeds and thirteen (13) kilogrammes of dried weeds that tested positive for cannabis. The commander, therefore, warned that drug traffickers in the State must quit the criminal act or be prepared for the legal consequences.
“The early detection of the drugs despite the mode of concealment is a clear signal that the activities of cannabis cartels cannot escape our strict supervision.
“We are prepared to remain proactive in our counter- narcotics efforts.
“This way, we will continue to subject drug traffickers to the laws of the country to serve as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to indulge in drug trafficking” the commander warned.
The Edo State Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Benin City has described as unfounded the claim of large supplies of arms, ammunition, and cannabis seized by Edo youths in a video trending all over social media.
State commander, Mr Buba Wakawa said that the video is a mischievous attempt by some criminal-minded individuals to unnecessarily heighten political and ethnic tensions in the State despite the prevailing peace and security.
“I am shocked by the deceit and false claim because the video being circulated was the seizure of a truck containing Cannabis Sativa that was intercepted by the Edo State command in November 2016. The case was charged to court and the perpetrators duly convicted. Unfortunately, the same video is being used to spread rumours aimed at creating fear and insecurity in the State. It is completely spurious and should be ignored” Wakawa stated.
He notes that the ‘false video’ urged Nigerians especially Southerners to be vigilant because supplies of ammunition to Benin City have been intercepted by Benin youths at Aduwawa area of the State capital meant for Hausa community.
Wakawa added that in November 2016, the command intercepted a Dangote Truck at Enweh with 7,950kgs of dried cannabis concealed in bags of cement.
“Investigation revealed that the driver, Segiru Amadu collected the sum of 1.3 million naira to transport the drugs to Maiduguri. The Agency got excellent cooperation from Dangote Cement Company in the said case. The driver who fled the scene of seizure was arrested by Dangote Cement Company and charged for breach of contract before a Kogi State Magistrate Court.
“After serving his jail term in Kogi, he was brought to Edo State for the criminal trial of unlawful transportation of cannabis for which he was also convicted. Subsequently, Dangote Cement Company was given a clean bill of non-complicity in the case and equally commended for its high level of cooperation”.
The commander further clarified that the cannabis seizure in 2016 has nothing to do with firearms or the management of Dangote Company, stressing that the good reputation of Dangote Group of Companies should not be smeared.
The Agency maintained that investigation will be conducted to uncover those behind the calumny and punish them accordingly.
Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee For The Elimination Of Drug Abuse, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, on Monday, said the country would be finished if drug abuse is not comprehensively tackled.
Marwa was speaking on Sunrise Daily where he gave some insights into his committee’s report on drug abuse in the country.
According to a 2018 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 14.4 percent (or 14.3 million) of Nigerians are drug users.
This is high when compared with the global average of 5.6 percent, the UN agency said.
Marwa’s committee was constituted in December 2018 and submitted its report to the President in October 2019.
But the report has not been implemented as it is being reviewed by a second committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
According to Marwa, the second committee is expected to meet later this week and he would be “surprised” if its implementation does not “start in another month.”
“The drug control scourge in Nigeria, unless it is tackled, we are finished,” Marwa said.
“Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, they all use drugs.
“Let me tell you, last week someone in Auno, Maiduguri, mentioned to me that there was a woman in one of the buses being burnt alive. She threw her child out, so that at least the child would survive. The insurgents picked the child and flung him back into the bus. What kind of depravity could that be unless somebody was completely out of his senses?
“So this is the root cause of most of our problems, including security, and must be tackled.”
Another Drug Agency Needed
Among the recommendations of Marwa’s committee is the declaration of a state of emergency against drug abuse and the establishment of a new agency – the National Drug Control Commission.
“We discovered that the various agencies that are tasked – the NDLEA, the police, Customs, NAFDAC, Ministry of Health, etc, – none of them have the convening authority to drive the campaign where others would respect it,” Marwa said. “So they seem to be all going their separate ways; there is no collaboration, no coordination.”
When asked why the NDLEA simply couldn’t be expanded, Marwa said the existing agency would be “moved to work in partnership” because it “faces supply reduction”.
“And that is just one aspect,” the former Military Governor of Lagos state continued. “There is a demand reduction which is an equally strategic aspect that does not fall within its purview.
“Then you have the narcotics and control drugs, psychotropic drugs, which the NAFDAC is handling. We are going to bring that under the umbrella. So there is one body that coordinates and has the convening authority to drive the whole campaign.”
Marwa’s committee also noted that solving poverty and unemployment was key to winning the drug law.
‘Cannabis Not Good For Nigeria’
In light of the legalisation of cannabis, also known as marijuana, in some countries such as Canada, Marwa said it was harmful to the country’s health.
In US states where cannabis have been legalised, there are three times more admissions in hospitals for drug-related incidents and crimes, Marwa said.
If Nigeria legalises it, he said, the number of cannabis users will increase.
“Cannabis is not good. It affects the brain. It has a health consequence. You completely get out of your mind with the use. And you get stuck with it. It is something to avoid.”
He also noted that his committee recommended the cutting out of adverts for recreational drugs like alcohol to discourage its use.
“You really can’t say zero-alcohol because people have the rights,” he said. “But when you consume more than is required and perhaps you are caught driving drunk, you know there is a penalty. So these penalties also have to be enforced.”
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 16 suspected illicit drug dealers and users at the premises of the All Progressives Congress (APC) headquarters in Dutse, the Jigawa state capital.
NDLEA’s Deputy Controller in charge of Operation and Intelligence, Mr Oko Michael, confirmed the arrest to reporters on Monday.
He explained that the raid, which was carried out by NDLEA operatives on Sunday evening, followed several complaints of the activities of drug users at the party’s office.
According to Michael, the suspects were arrested at the premises and inside the APC’s state secretariat over the weekend.
He added that three of the suspects would be charged to court on Tuesday to serve as a deterrent to others with similar motives.
The NDLEA deputy controller disclosed that among those to be arraigned was a woman who has a kiosk at the premises of the party’s secretariat where many substances were found in her possession.
He declared that even though some suspected drug users fled into offices during the raid, the operatives were able to arrest some suspects in the middle of their illicit businesses.
In his reaction, the spokesperson for the APC in Jigawa, Mr Nasiru Jahun, confirmed that the arrest was in order.
He, however, refuted that the NDLEA operation was conducted inside the APC office, rather around the building which was patronised by all members of the society and not only APC supporters.
“Even though we supported NDLEA in flushing out illicit drug users across the state, there is no clear indication that those arrested were members of the APC, although they were arrested near our Headquarters,” Jahun said.
He noted that the APC secretariat is not a sacred place and the NDLEA can perform their constitutional duty, even inside a mosque or church.