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Revealed: Check Out The Number Of Arrests And Convictions Secured By NDLEA In 3 Years

Posted by Samuel on Wed 26th Jun, 2024 - tori.ng

Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), disclosed this in his welcome address at the 2024 United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, held at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

NDLEA

On Wednesday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) reported that over the past three years, it has apprehended 52,901 drug traffickers, which includes 48 kingpins, and secured over 9,000 convictions of suspects.

Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), disclosed this in his welcome address at the 2024 United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, held at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Gen. Marwa, who enumerated the achievements of the NDLEA under his watch in the last three years, said the agency’s offensive action has resulted in the seizure of over 7.6 million kilograms of assorted illicit substances, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and cannabis.

He said the agency’s success in prosecution is a testament to its commitment to bringing drug criminals to justice, adding that with a conviction rate of over 70%, NDLEA has secured convictions for 9,000 suspects, including drug lords and cartels.

Speaking on the theme for this year’s Day, “The Evidence is Clear: Invest in Prevention”, the NDLEA boss said efforts of achieving a drug free Nigeria is being led with preventive steps, one of which has been blocking distribution channels.

According to him, “The imperative to invest in prevention is dictated by evidence-based results that have shown that prevention is far more cost effective than dealing with the consequences of drug use disorder. Because, after all, prevention is better than cure.  

“At NDLEA, drug use prevention lies at the heart of our strategy in addressing the drug problem as it is: far more effective and cost-efficient to prevent drug abuse than to deal with its consequences. As part of the reforms being undertaken in the Agency in the last three years, with the support of the Federal Government and various stakeholders, we have invested in prevention programmes.

“In consonance with the theory of Demand and Supply, we have employed balanced approach in our prevention efforts by making sure that Drug Demand Reduction efforts compliment the supply reduction efforts.

“Just as we invest resources in the prevention of abuse and trafficking of illicit substances, we are also not relenting in our effort to cut off supply channels and dismantle trafficking networks. After all, when you cut off drug supplies, you deny users availability and access to them, including insurgents, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and sundry criminals who rely on drugs to foster their criminalities.

“The magnitude of our effort is reflected in the statistics of our drug supply reduction activities. We have arrested 52, 901 drug traffickers, including 48 barons, in three and half years. Over 9, 000 of the suspects have been convicted in court. We have also seized over the same periods 7.6 million kilograms of assorted illicit substances”,
he said.

He further stated that the NDLEA has launched an offensive operation targeting cannabis farms at the source, enthusing that the effort has led to the destruction of about 1,057 hectares of cannabis farms in the past three years.

He, however, disclosed that the agency is also planning an alternative development programme to persuade cannabis farmers to grow cash crops instead, with incentives attached.

Marwa said the programme is crucial, as the 2018 national drug use survey revealed that 10.6 million Nigerians aged 15-64 abused cannabis, out of a total 14.3 million drug abusers.

“An aspect of our offensive action operation also targets cannabis sativa at source to prevent it from reaching our cities and streets. In this regard, we continually locate and destroy cannabis farms deep in the forests where they are cultivated. So far, we have destroyed 1, 057 hectares of cannabis farms in the past three years.

“As we speak, we are also ramping up plans for an Alternative Development Programme, which aims at persuading cannabis farmers to accept and grow cash crops and forgo the cultivation of the psychoactive plant.

“Of course, this will go with certain incentives.  Alternative Development is very important when we consider that out of 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15-64 that abused drugs as per the last national drug use survey of 2018, 10.6 million of them actually abused cannabis”,
he said.

Marwa further said the NDLEA has established an inter-ministerial committee known as the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), initiative, aimed at strengthening the coordination of drug control efforts in the country.  

In addition, the NDLEA boss said that the committee, which he chairs, comprises relevant ministries, departments, and agencies, crucial to drug abuse prevention, including the Federal Ministries of Health and Social Welfare, Education, Women Affairs, Information, Youths, and agencies like NAFDAC and NACA, among others.

He explained that the inter-ministerial approach aims to share best practices, mobilize resources, and tackle the multifaceted challenge of drug abuse.

He said that the NDLEA’s efforts have been recognized by international partners, including the European Union, UNODC, and the US-DEA, among others, noting that the agency’s collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies has led to the arrest and prosecution of Nigerian drug traffickers abroad.

Besides, he said that the agency’s drug demand reduction efforts have also yielded significant results, with over 33,453 individuals counseled, treated, and rehabilitated in NDLEA’s 30 rehabilitation centers nationwide.

“This is a significant achievement for Nigeria and a testament to our commitment to a drug-free society. We will continue to intensify our efforts to prevent drug abuse and illicit trafficking, and to bring drug criminals to justice”, said Brig. Gen. Marwa



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