…As Ibadan court orders counseling for 14-yr-old drug dealer***
The Imo Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called on Gov. Emeka Ihedioha of the state to support its fight against drug abuse and trafficking.
Mr Nse Inam, the Imo NDLEA commander, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Owerri.
He said the support should be in areas of infrastructure, logistics and funding, saying that any form of support from the state government would be used strictly for Imo people.
Inam said the command had organised seminars for hoteliers and lectures for schools in the state as part of activities to mark this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a UN International Day against drug abuse and illegal drug trade observed annually on June 26 since 1989.
The observance was instituted by General Assembly Resolution 42/112 of Dec. 7, 1987.
The day recognises the severe impact illicit drugs have on health, development, peace and security.
The Imo NDLEA commander said “this year’s theme is `Health for Justice and Justice for Health.’’
He noted that the command’s patrol teams had continued to raid flash points in the state in its determination to fight drug abuse.
Inam, however, called on residents to remain conscious of their immediate environment and encouraged them to report suspected drug peddlers to the nearest law enforcement agency.
He said “drugs can destroy vital body organs, lead to violent crimes, ravage families and the society at large.
“We call on state governments to invest in NDLEA in the areas of logistics, infrastructure and funding to enable us to serve the state better.”
In the meantime, Justice P.I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Tuesday recommended a 14-year-old drug dealer, Samuel Ayoade, for counseling by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Oyo State.
Ajoku gave the order in her ruling after Ayoade and five other adults pleaded guilty to dealing in Indian hemp.
She said: “It is therefore my considered view that the NDLEA should refer Ayoade to its counseling unit because he is still at the tender stage of his life.
“I am sure that this would go a long way in preventing him from mixing with hardened criminals.
“Furthermore, it has not been stated by the prosecution that the defendant has been arrested for any offence before now..
“Therefore, I am releasing Ayoade to the NDLEA counseling unit toward making him a better person in life.”
The defence counsel, Mr Awoyemi Olufolahan, was full of praises to the judge for treating his teenage client with compassion.
Earlier, Mr Raphael Himinkaiye, counsel to the NDLEA, had informed the court that the 14-year-old was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on unlawful dealing in 1.05 kg of illicit drug.
Himinkaiye added that Ayoade along with five others committed the crime on June 12 at Oja-Iba area of Ibadan.
The five adults, who all pleaded guilty, were Stephen Uche, Ganiyat Babatunde, Abideen Alao, Ibrahim Imam and Adesina Abiodun.
He said that they were caught at an Indian hemp joint.
Judgment is slated for July 4.