NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa has released fresh warnings for drug offenders.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency boss said that drug offenders must go to jail. He said that offenders would not have an option of a fine.
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Marwa, a retired Brigadier General said offenders could face 15 to 25 years jail term or life imprisonment.
He made this known at the weekly ministerial briefing at Aso villa in Abuja.
The Chairman also revealed that 9,355 traffickers have been arrested from January 2021 to October. He added that N100bn worth of drugs has been seized.
He also spoke about the NDLEA act at the National Assembly which is under review. He said this act would ensure that drug tests are done before weddings and recruitment into the civil service.
His words, “Drug producers and traffickers have the money, and when you impose fines, they just pay off the fine and they will be back on the streets. So, the option of a fine will no longer apply.
“The jail terms we are looking at is a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 25 and life imprisonment. These are all in the NDLEA Act under revision by the National Assembly.
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“There is no guarantee that the jail term will prevent drug offenders from plying their illicit trade. But it is a strong deterrent. If you face 25 years or life in prison and somehow you manage to come out in your old age, it’s difficult to return to that trade”
Marwa said the NDLEA is working closely with the Nigeria Correctional Service. This is to ensure that drug offenders serve their jail terms to the letter.
He acknowledged the time when drug barons escaped from the courtroom to prison.
“But this happened in the distant past. The correctional service is much different now and such an escape will not be possible,” he stated.
He also vowed to punish any politician or a public official who is caught abusing drugs.
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The NDLEA’s efforts against drug trafficking has since crossed the N100bn benchmark, the NDLEA boss said.
“As of October 15, the agency has arrested 9,355 traffickers, including six drug barons. Filed over 5,000 drug offence cases in court, recovered over N100bn worth of drugs and cash. Seized more than 2.7 million kilograms of assorted illicit drugs in 10 months, and counselled and rehabilitated 5,579 drug users,” he added.
He also vowed that by the end of the year, the agency would drastically deal with drug dealers.
Marwa said that “going by the rate we’re going into forests to destroy hundreds of hectares of their plantations in our ongoing operations.”
Source PUNCH Healthwise