… Seizes 3m kilograms of drugs, arrests 10,000 offenders***
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted 9.30 kilograms of cocaine worth over N2.7 billion at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja.
The NDLEA spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said a 32-year-old drug trafficker based in Liberia, Maduabuchi Chinedu, was arrested with the consignment.
Babafemi said the suspect who hailed from Obaha Okigwe village, Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo state, lived in Liberia where he worked as a miner.
He said the suspect was arrested during an inward joint search of Ethiopian Airlines flight 911 at the Abuja airport on Nov. 24.
He said the drug, which weighed 9.30kg cocaine, was wrapped in candies wraps and concealed in the suspect’s luggage.
According to him, during his preliminary interview, Chinedu claimed he left Nigeria in 2018 to settle in Liberia where he now has a residence permit.
“He, however, added that economic pressure and the need to raise money to treat his mother for an eye problem led him to seek help from a friend in Liberia,” said the statement.
Chinedu said it was the friend who introduced him to another friend based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who eventually gave him the drug to deliver in Abuja for a fee of N1 million.
He added that he was initially scheduled to deliver the drug in Cote d’Ivoire but was rerouted to Nigeria at the last minute.
Babafemi quoted the Chiarman, NDLEA, (rtd.), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the officers and men of the NAIA Command of the agency for their vigilance and working in synergy with other security agencies at the airport.
Marwa charged them and their colleagues in other commands to always remain two steps ahead of merchants of death who are daily getting more desperate to make money at the expense of the image of the country and wellbeing of Nigerians.
In the same vein, NDLEA intercepted and seized more than three million kilograms of hard drugs in the last 10 months since its chairman, retired Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa, took office.
It also arrested 10,000 suspects and secured conviction against 1,000 of them during the period.
The declarations were made in Lagos on Thursday by Commander of Narcotics, Lagos State Command, NDLEA, Mr Callys Alumona.
He was speaking as Marwa’s representative at the 2021 Annual Lecture and Award Ceremony of the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN).
The topic of this year’s lecture is: “Proliferation of Drugs, Bane of Insecurity’’.
“It is true that banditry, rape, gender-based violence and kidnapping are synopses to the fact that drug abuse has eaten deep into the fabrics of Nigeria.
“Bandits and terrorists sometimes demand for drugs in exchange for persons and they also export drugs in order to get arms to terrorise us the more.
“It is a person under the influence of drugs that usually commits heinous crimes; therefore, drug abuse and drug trafficking is a war that must be won,’’ Alumona said.
He stressed that one security agency alone could not fight the issue of drug trafficking and drug abuse except everyone comes together to rid Nigeria of the menace.
“Security agencies such as the police, the army, and the navy among others are synergising to ensure that drug proliferation is brought to a minimum.
“With this, we are sure that the foundations of insecurity will be weakened,’’ he said.
Alumona said that the police and the army recently transferred some arrested suspects to the agency for prosecution.
He added that the agency frequently raided night clubs and many other places to rid them of hooligans who used hard drugs before launching attacks on people.
“We are not stopping only on arrest and seizure, but we are also focused on the supply and demand reduction of drugs in the society.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari launched the “War against Drug Abuse’’ on June 26, and said the war would be spread to all parts of the country.
“This war is to enlighten the public from state capitals to the grassroots.
“We will further go to secondary schools and markets to preach the gospel of stopping drugs because drug abuse kills and is inimical to growth,’’ he said.