The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday, said it has proposed a piece of legislation seeking harsh measures for anyone found dealing in illicit drugs.
In the proposal, currently before the National Assembly, NDLEA is seeking a minimum of 15 years, a maximum of 25 years, and life sentences for anyone caught by its operatives indulging in drugs activities.
Chairman of the agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, disclosed this when he appeared as a guest at the weekly briefings coordinated by the Presidential Media Team, where he pointedly accused politicians of being involved in illicit drug deals.
He put the worth of drugs recovered from barons at over N100 billion, saying the amount has been remitted into the federation account.
He said from January 25, 2021, to date, operatives of the agency have seized more than 2.7 million kilogrammes of illicit drugs. He also revealed that 14.4 million Nigerians are currently under the influence of illicit drugs. He put the number of drug-related offences filed in court at over 5,000. These involved 9,355 arrested traffickers and six drug barons.
As of the last count, NDLEA had rehabilitated 5,579 drug users, with 20 per cent of these being serious addicts.
He said challenges facing the NDLEA include the absence of barracks for operatives and their families and poor welfare. He said the current administration has made efforts to pay compensation for 188 officers killed in the line of duty.
Marwa added: “To complete the overhaul process, we have invigorated the process of amending the NDLEA Act, to provide a more robust legal framework to deal with current drug trafficking and abuse challenges.
“As a matter of necessity, we have also had to scale up our workforce by resuming the suspended 2019 recruitment and training of 5,000 operatives, with more to join in the months ahead. Once the process is completed, the agency’s workforce will have doubled by 200 per cent by mid-2022.”Follow us on social media