NDLEA Destroys 100 Tons of Illicit Drugs

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Oluchi Chibuzor

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the weekend, publicly destroyed over 100 tonnages of drugs and psychotropic substances.

The move was part of the agency’s renewed bid to mitigate enhancer features within Lagos state.

The agency said the high drug usage in Lagos State was not acceptable, considering that the state was not known for large-scale production of any drug or psychotropic substances.

The public destruction of drugs, which took place at Seme Special Area Command, include seizures made between 2013 to 2019.

The agency disclosed that over 129. 7 tons of drugs were seized in Taraba, Gombe, Kogi, Delta, Nasarawa states respectively, in the last one year.

Speaking at the event tagged, “Operation Fire for Fire”, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NDLEA, Col. Mustapha Abdallah (rtd), stressed the need for a rapid response to address the menace as it keeps expanding.

He said, “It is amazing that we are gathered here today to destroy precisely 100, 143. 218 Kilograms of drugs and psychotropic substances.  

“This quantity is unacceptably high, considering the fact that Lagos State is not known for larger scale production of any of these drugs and psychotropic substance.

“We are, however, not unmindful of the peculiarity of Lagos, being a state with an increasingly large population, relatively easy transportation network and accessibility through sea and land borders all of which enhance drug trafficking and abuse.

“It is in realisation of these features that we have ensured adequate number of formation in Lagos to address the identified enhancers. The results are these huge seizures of drugs and psychotropic substances.”

The NDLEA boss, however, called on the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the even by the State’s Director Public Prosecution, Mr. Yaqoub Oshoola, to have a functional state Drug Abuse Control Committee, to complement its current effort.

“The Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse (LASKADA) is a good initiative, but requires more effort and investment to meet the need of Lagos State,” he said.

According to the agency, the summary of records within the year in review showed that the Central Exhibit command had 38,372.329KG; Seme Command, 21,669.430KG; Lagos State Command, 40,111.459KG.

“The breakdown according to drugs by command includes: Central Exhibit Command: Cocaine, 762.856kg, Heroin, 270.892kg; Meth, 237.332kg; Ephedrine, 234.96; Tramadol, 1,271.388kg; Cannabis, 32,705.855kg; Other Pasco Substances, 597.794kg; KHAT, 2,281.252kg.

“Seme command: Cocaine, 4.173kg; METH, 0.415kg; Tramadol, 19.000kg; Cannabis, 21, 645.752kg; Other Psychotropic Substances, 0.090kg.

“Lagos State Command: Cocaine, 2.991kg, Heroin, 0.770kg; Meth, 0.316kg; Tramadol, 6,987.382kg; Cannabis, 33,120kg.”

Responding to the menace, Oshoola commended the agency on the transparency displayed in the destruction of the various substances.

“In line with international standard, the destruction exercise witnessed a laboratory test to ascertain the components of the exhibits in the presence of relevant stakeholders, including representative of the National Crime Agency.

Commenting on the number of those convicted, the Lagos State Command, Mr. Ralph Igwenagu, explained that in the last one year, his command arrested 450 suspects with 85 convicted.

The NDLEA formation that carried out the exercise according to him included seven Area commands – Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Apapa Sea Ports, Tincan Island Ports, Seme Special Area Command covering the land border between Nigeria and Benin Republic.