NDLEA arrests 51,000 drug offenders in 3 years, convicts 9000

Nigeria’s anti-narcotics agency, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has arrested 50,901 drug offenders, including 46 barons, in the last three years.

The chairperson/chief executive officer of the agency, Buba Marwa, a retired brigadier general, said this on Monday at the commissioning and handing over ceremony of an operational facility built and donated to the agency by the British government.

In a statement by NDLEA’s spokesperson Femi Babafemi, Marwa was quoted to have said that of the 50,901 alleged drug offenders, 9,034 have been successfully prosecuted and convicted.

He noted that the conviction of over 9000 drug offenders, as well as the seizure of over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances in the past 38 months, has sent the right message to drug cartels and their kingpins that Nigeria won’t tolerate their criminal activities.

Marwa added that their search-and-destroy campaign against cannabis plantations has also led to the destruction of 1,057.33348 hectares of cannabis farms in the past three years.

He commended the British government for the generous support that will further boost the capability of the anti-narcotic agency in tackling the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“We gather here not just to commission a new building complex but to celebrate a significant milestone in our ongoing fight against the scourge of licit and illicit drug trafficking.

“Today, we commission the newly acquired building, a project made possible through the generous support of the British government. I must express our gratitude to the British government for their unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to our cause,” Marwa said.

He added that from the outset of the collaboration, the UK had been a steadfast ally in the agency’s relentless pursuit to neutralise transnational organised criminal activities, particularly in the realm of illicit drug production and trafficking.

Marwa affirmed that with the state-of-the-art facilities and technology at the agency’s disposal, it was better equipped to tackle the complex and ever-evolving drug challenge head-on.