Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has faulted the Kano State Police Commissioner, Muhammad Wakili, over the seizure of 303 cartons of suspected hard drugs.
Speaking yesterday during an interview with journalists at the Command office, the Kano State Commander of the NDLEA, Dr. Ibrahim Abdul, said the drug was declofenac, a pain killer.
Abdul stated that Wakili should have contacted the agency to verify whether or not the drug was tramadol before going to address journalists.
He explain that section 3 sub section 1 (b) of the NDLEA Act provided the agency as general coordinator of all drugs law in Nigeria.
The NDLEA commander revealed that two weeks before the police made the arrest of the suspected tramadol, his men on patrol seized the same drug at a check point, adding that they had to conduct forensic test, which revealed that it was declofenac.
“Even after the result showed it was a declofenac, we had to make further tests in Lagos because court doesn’t consider our test results unless it is from certified laboratory”, he said
Abdul therefore argued that the fact that the police have the power to make arrests, as enshrined in section 4 of the Police Service Act, it equally lacked power to prosecute drug suspects.
He added: “When Mr. Wakili made the arrest, he should have handed over the suspects and the commodity to us before going to address newsmen. It happened in February when he said he arrested two trucks of tramadol. We contacted him to show us the tramadol and he said he transferred them to NAFDAC. We went to NAFDAC only to find out that it was just augumentin and anti-malaria drugs.
“One carton of tramadol here in Kano is sold at N16 million and Wakili said he seized two trucks of it. So, if I asked him to produce such drugs and he could not produce it, then he could be charged to court for tampering with exhibit. There is no sacred cow in law. If I commit an offence, they will also take me to court and jail me.
“So, I call on our sister agencies to deal with us within the confines of the law. I must commend them for their commitment to fighting drug and substance abuse.
“I also commend CP Wakili for his commitment in fighting drug abuse in Kano State. But i will equally draw his attention towards remaining within the purview of the law in discharging his duties,” he said.
The commander also called on the police in the state to desist from prosecuting drug cases before Magistrate Courts, while section 3 sub section 1 Q provides that it is only NDLEA that has the power to prosecute before the Federal High Court.
Recall that the police commissioner, Wakili, had last Friday addressed journalists over the seizure of 303 cartons of suspected tramadol worth N1 billion.
He said the illicit drugs were intercepted at Ugo Lab Manufacturing Company located at No. 157 Miller Road, Bompai, Nassarawa Local Government Area of Kano, based on tip-off.
“We have also arrested one suspect, Chris Metuh, of the same address, Wakili had said.
He noted that four other suspects namely Aliyu Khalid, Ibrahim Alasan, Mohammad Ahmad, and Chukwu Jeku felix, were arrested with a rubber of suck and die, two cutlasses, a breaking implement and large quantities of illicit drugs.
According to him, the suspects would be prosecuted whenever investigation is completed.