50,901 drug offenders arrested, 9,034 convicted in three years — NDLEA

The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency says it has arrested a total of 5,0901 drug offenders, including the apprehension of 46 drug barons in the last three years.The Chairman of the agency, Brig-Gen Muhammed Marwa (retd.), made this known on Monday at the inauguration and handing over ceremony of an operational facility built and donated by the British Government to the NDLEA in Lagos.Marwa said within the period, the agency had successfully prosecuted and convicted 9,034 of them as well as seized over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances.This, according to him, would not only disrupt the flow of illegal drugs but also serve as a significant blow to the criminal networks responsible for their distribution.He said, “Our operations have undergone substantial reforms resulting in remarkable achievement within the last three years.

During this period, the NDLEA achieved significant milestones in its mission to combat drug trafficking and abuse with a total of 5,0901 arrests, including the apprehension of 46 drug barons. Our agency has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to bringing those involved in illicit drug activities to justice. Furthermore, the conviction of 9,034 offenders underscores our relentless pursuit of accountability and deterrence in the fight against drug-related crimes.“Our seizure of 7,560,749 kilogrammes of that 7,561 tonnes not only disrupts the flow of illegal drugs but also serves as a significant blow for the criminal networks responsible for their distribution.”

Marwa added that the agency had taken decisive action against illicit drug crop cultivation with its search and destroy campaign against cannabis plantation which had led to the destruction of over 1000 hectares of cannabis farms in the past three years.“At this time, we are looking at alternatives. We are strategising on how to control cannabis cultivation in Nigeria through the encouragement of cannabis growers to turn their attention to growing alternative illicit drugs and with this, an alternative development unit has been created in my office,” he added.Speaking at the ceremony, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jonny Baxter, assured the agency of continued support to the 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 several 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’d like to join the chairman in affirming our continued support, our continued cooperation, and indeed our continued pride in working together with ladies and gentlemen of this agency, the NDLEA.”

The NDLEA in February intercepted what it described as the single largest heroin consignment at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.Similarly, it reportedly arrested members of an organised criminal organisation which specialised in trafficking heroin across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe and America in an operation leading to the seizure of the consignment which weighed 51.90Kg

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