The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Friday revealed that it had seized narcotics and destroyed cannabis farms worth N542bn in 2014.
Chairman and Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade, who gave the figure in Abuja at the celebration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and the launch of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2015-2019, added that 12,304 persons were arrested and questioned in connection to hard drugs in the past 17 months.
Within the same period, 2,800 persons have been convicted in court for drug offences, he explained, noting that 2,054 were convicted in 2014 while 783 persons have been convicted between January and May, 2015.
Giade, who spoke during a lecture to mark the event, with the theme: “Let’s Develop Our Lives, Our Communities, Our Identities Without Drugs”, gave a breakdown of the seized narcotics as follows: cannabis: 167,461.826kg; cocaine: 103.848kg; heroin: 17.976kg; and psychotropic substances: 2, 619.195kg.
The NDLEA boss also said that the agency played a very crucial role towards the peaceful conduct of the 2015 general elections because had this enormous quantity of drugs or proceeds from its sale been allowed to enter the system, it could either have subverted the wishes of the electorate or instigate upheavals.
“We shall therefore continue to financially incapacitate and dislodge drug cartels”, Giade vowed.
According to Giade, the NDLEA had fought very hard to eradicate illicit drugs in Nigeria and had recorded tremendous success with its activities.
Giade further stated that “Besides arrests and drug seizure, 3,403 drug dependent persons received drug counseling services in NDLEA centres nationwide. 2,070 cases were charged to court and 2,054 were convicted in 2014”.
“However, between January and May 2015, the agency arrested 3,478 drug suspects and seized 170,341 kilogrammes of narcotic drugs”, he added.
He also revealed the discovery of more clandestine laboratories for the production of methamphetamine, and the arrest of a suspected drug kingpin, Chukwunwendu Ikejiaku (a.k.a Blessed), who is alleged to be the brain behind three clandestine laboratories, and leader of an international drug trafficking ring that recruits and sponsors drug couriers to China, Malaysia, Turkey and Italy.