- Agency arraigns NSITF staff
Michael Olugbode in Abuja and Wale Igbintade in Lagos
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) has charged newly trained 2,500 personnel of the agency ready for deployment to stand firm and reject insidious temptations that will come their way from drug barons and cartels.
Speaking at the passing out parade of the newly trained Narcotic Agents and Narcotic Assistants in Katsina yesterday, Marwa reminded the new personnel that they can’t afford to compromise on their work because their efforts will directly impact the safety and well-being of their families, communities, and the country at large.
He said: “I believe that before you reported at the Academy, you must have read and heard about the good works of NDLEA officers.
“Today, the door is open for you to contribute your quota. NDLEA has a storied history of dedication and resilience in the face of adversity. We are in a new epoch in which we approach the fight against drug trafficking organisations with an indomitable spirit and determination to break their stranglehold on society.
“In the renewed war on illicit drugs, NDLEA is employing the latest techniques, technologies, and intelligence to curb the menace. Hence, I can assure you that you are coming into the Agency at a time when the job has become challenging but exciting and gratifying as well.”
Marwa who was represented at the ceremony by his Special Adviser, Col. Yakubu Bako (Rtd), said the agency launched an Offensive Action to put traffickers and barons on the defensive while equally promoting a War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, social advocacy campaign with long-term objectives of preventing drug abuse in society.
He added: “In the pursuit of the solemn duties of our mandate, it is vital for you to recognise and vehemently reject the insidious temptations of bribery and corruption that often accompany the drug trade.
Drug traffickers and their cohorts, who readily use the trap of financial gain to push their nefarious objectives, would attempt to compromise the integrity of anti-narcotic law enforcement officers. Therefore, the officers and men of NDLEA must remain impervious to these temptations.
“We should be reminded at all times that the fight against drug traffickers is a noble cause rooted in the unwavering commitment to eradicate the suffering and devastation caused by the illicit drug trade.
“Corruption and bribery have no place in this mission, and you must not only resist these temptations but actively expose and report any attempts of compromise. Bear in mind at all times that the consequences of falling into the abyss of corruption have far-reaching implications for the society you all have sworn to protect.
“Therefore, I implore you to stand firm in the face of these temptations, to act with integrity, and to uphold the core values of NDLEA. Our duty is sacred. Our commitment is a beacon of hope for victims of the drug scourge. Our loyalty to the cause, therefore, should be absolute and unalloyed.”
Meanwhile, the NDLEA yesterday arraigned a staff member of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Miss Ekwejunor Oritsematosan, before a Federal High Court, in Lagos for alleged drug trafficking offences.
Oritsematosan, an Health Safety Environment Officer of NSITF, was arraigned before Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa’s Court, on a 10 count-chaôArraigning the defendant, the prosecutor, Mr. Lambert Nor, told the court the the defendant alongside her private company, Femaffik Global Services Limited, committed the alleged offences between 2019 and 2023.
He told the court that the defendant alongside one Adebanjo Abraham Olufemi a.k.a Femi Adebanjo, who is now at large, committed the offences at Block 11, Mouse 28, Mobolaji Johnson Estate, Marwa, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Lagos State.
He told the court that the defendants conspired among themselves and form and operate a Drug Trafficking Organisation (DTO) which is allegedly involved in processing, trafficking and exporting Cannabis sativa.
He stated that the defendant and others now at large, procured and induced one Tijani Oladapo Hakeem, Eric Makuo, Adaoti Fortune and Ahmed Jubril, who have been convicted by the court to deal in 1. O68 Kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa.
The prosecutor also told the court how the defendant intend to pervert the course of investigation, by offering the sum of N2 million agency’s operatives as bribe.
The prosecutor said the alleged offences committed by the defendant contravened sections 14 (b), 20 (1)(g),18 (2)(b), 11(c), 18 (2)(a), 11(b), 12, 14 (a), 49 (a) and 49 (b)of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. And punishable under sections 20 (2)(b) and 19 (1)(2) of the same Act.
The defendant denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the 10 count charge.
Following her plea of not guilty, her lawyer, Chief Benson Ndakara, informed the court the he filed the defendant’s bail application and same has been served on the prosecutor.