NDLEA Seizes 115 Tons of Drugs, Arrests Thousands in Nigeria

NDLEA seizes 115,244kg of illicit drugs and arrests 4,329 suspected traffickers in three months. Suspected Boko Haram insurgents attack NDLEA and NCS checkpoints in Borno, highlighting challenges faced by law enforcement.

Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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NDLEA Seizes 115 Tons of Drugs, Arrests Thousands in Nigeria

NDLEA Seizes 115 Tons of Drugs, Arrests Thousands in Nigeria

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Nigeria has made significant progress in combating drug trafficking and abuse in the first quarter of 2024. From January to March, the agency seized a staggering 115,244kg of illicit drugs and arrested 4,329 suspected traffickers across the country. The seized drugs included cannabis, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, tramadol, Rohypnol, codeine, diazepam, and other substances.

The large quantity of seized drugs and the number of arrests highlight the severity of the drug problem in Nigeria, which has significant implications for public health and national security. Effective drug enforcement is crucial to preventing the spread of drug-related crimes and ensuring a safer society.

In addition to the seizures, the NDLEA also destroyed 34,919.39kg of cannabis farms during this period. The agency's efforts led to the charging of 1,356 drug-related cases in court, resulting in 1,018 convictions. Among those convicted were 944 males and 74 females. NDLEA Chairman Brig Gen Buba Marwa (retd) praised the milestone, stating, "With support from partners, there has been a significant milestone in the ongoing fight against the scourge of drug trafficking and abuse."

The NDLEA's operations also included counselling and rehabilitation services for drug users. Brief counselling was provided to 1,455 individuals, comprising 1,276 males and 179 females. Additionally, 312 persons, including 308 males and 4 females, underwent rehabilitation programs. The agency further enlightened 356,245 people about the dangers of drug abuse from January to March 2024.

Why this matters: In a related development, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), collaborating with other security agencies, intercepted a passenger arriving from Cairo at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport on May 3, 2024. The passenger was found carrying 241 empty packages of Otravin nasal drops and 80 pieces of the medication. Saidu Nuruddeen, Public Relations Officer, commended the operation, saying,"The successful operation was a testament to the effectiveness of inter-agency collaboration and the commitment of the personnel to combating smuggling and ensuring national security."

However, the fight against drug trafficking in Nigeria faced a setback on May 2, 2024, when suspected repentant Boko Haram insurgents attacked NDLEA and NCS checkpoints in Kasuwan Fara, a suburb of Maiduguri. The attackers, wearing military uniforms, stormed the checkpoints, chasing away personnel and setting structures ablaze. The incident followed a fierce encounter between the insurgents and police at the Kasuwan Fara Divisional Police Office, where they attempted to rescue eight colleagues arrested on April 24 for drug-related crimes.

The NDLEA's seizure of 115 tons of illicit drugs and arrest of over 4,000 suspected traffickers in just three months highlights the severity of the drug problem in Nigeria. While the agency has made commendable strides in combating this issue, the attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents underscores the complex challenges faced by law enforcement in the country. As investigations continue, the NDLEA and its partners remain committed to tackling drug trafficking and abuse to ensure a safer and healthier Nigeria.

Key Takeaways

  • NDLEA seizes 115,244kg of illicit drugs in Nigeria from Jan-Mar 2024.
  • 4,329 suspected traffickers were arrested, 1,018 convicted during the same period.
  • NDLEA destroys 34,919.39kg of cannabis farms, and provides counselling to 1,455 individuals.
  • Nigeria Customs Service intercepts passengers with 241 packages of Otravin nasal drops.
  • Suspected Boko Haram insurgents attack NDLEA and NCS checkpoints in Maiduguri.