NDLEA Dismantles Drug Joints, Nabs 491 Suspects in Katsina

Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The Katsina State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said it had dismantled many illicit drug joints and arrested 491 suspected drug peddlers and users in the state.

The agency added that 146 out of the 491 suspects were nabbed by a special enforcement team from its national headquarters, who were deployed in the state to aid the command’s raid operations.

The state NDLEA Commander, Mohammed Bashir Ibrahim, stated this while briefing journalists as part of the week-long activities to commemorate the 2022 United Nations (UN) Day against Drug Abuse and Trafficking.

This year’s UN Day with the theme: ‘Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises’, is expected to highlight the socio-economic, political and security implications of drug abuse on the society.

He said: “During this period (January to May), 345 suspects were arrested. This comprises 339 males and six females, whereas about 388 substance abused persons were counselled and rehabilitated.

“In June, as part of the command supply effort, the special enforcement team was invited from national headquarters to boost our raid operations; 146 suspects were arrested within five days of the raid.”

He reiterated that the command had secured 15 convictions within the period under review and 19 clients were undergoing rehabilitation at its facility located in the Katsina metropolitan area.

According to Ibrahim, “It is noted that over 90 per cent of arrested suspects and counselled clients fall between the ages of 15 and 40 years.”

He said operatives of the agency dismantled many drug joints in a series of raids conducted in the Katsina metropolis and other local government areas in the state.

The state NDLEA commander appealed to the state government to assist the agency in the area of logistics “which is seriously hampering our operations.”

He, however, assured the state that the men and officers of the command under his watch would not relent until the menace of illicit drug abuse and trafficking is tackled in the state.

In his remarks, the Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Bello Masari on Narcotics, Hamza Borodo, said the state government would continue to support the NDLEA in order to curb drug abuse and trafficking in the state.

Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd),  yesterday disclosed that the agency had also arrested over 17,647 offenders, including 10 drug barons, between January 2021 and May 2022.

He added that the agency has also been able to get more than 2,369 persons convicted and jailed within the same period while 154,667.339 kilogrammes drugs have been seized in the first five months of 2022.

 Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday on the programme of activities for the 2022 United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Marwa also disclosed that “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.”

Marwa who was appointed to head the anti-narcotics agency in January last year, said: “This year’s theme for the UN Day has beamed the light on an area of the drug problem that has until recent years been on the backburner of the drug discourse.”

 “For us at the agency, we are abreast of time and trends as shown by the priority accorded treatment and care.”

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