…As UNDOC others applauds agency
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized narcotic drugs valued at over one trillion naira.
The drugs weighing fifty-five million, eight hundred and thirty thousand, eight hundred and thirty-seven (55,830,837) kilogrammes and arrest of 72,253 suspected drug traffickers were made between 2006 and 2014 under the leadership of chairman/chief executive, Ahmadu Giade.
This impressive scorecard has continued to attract accolades from stakeholders including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The suspected traffickers are 67,773 males and 4,480 females while the breakdown of drugs is as follows; 55,657,727.32kg of cannabis, 17,748.382kg of cocaine, 874.304kg of heroin and 153,831.6kg of psychotropic substances. The NDLEA also prosecuted 14,801 drug traffickers within the period and won 14,668 cases.
UNODC executive director Mr Yury Fedotove congratulated Giade for his pragmatic and visionary leadership in the fight against drug trafficking syndicates. In a letter signed by the Deputy Executive Director Mr Aldo Lale-Demoz, UNODC commended the commitment and engagement of the NDLEA boss in the continued close cooperation with stakeholders.
“Your efforts have been instrumental in making Nigeria a key player in the global efforts to address the drug problem and I am confident that this legacy will live on. This close collaboration has also been manifested by NDLEA hosting our project team for the NDLEA-EU-UNODC project on the Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crime in Nigeria” Fedotov stated.
Giade said that he has made more enemies than friends in re-positioning NDLEA from a reactive to an intelligence-led organisation. “One of my areas of focus is cutting off the supply of drugs. To effectively eradicate narcotics you must build capacity, eliminate compromise and consistently launch attack on drug cartels. NDLEA operations are now strategically executed with optimal results. Intercepting drugs worth over one trillion has paralysed many drug trafficking organisations. In the process I have made more enemies because many drug traffickers were jailed and officers involved in unprofessional conduct were dismissed” Giade stated.
The NDLEA boss added that his happiest moment within the period under review was when the seizure of 14,200kg of cocaine was intercepted at the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos. The drug which was concealed in a consignment of white cement from Chile, South America in June 2006 was rated as the single largest seizure of cocaine in Africa and fifth largest in the world.
In his words, “I am happy whenever drug seizures are made, traffickers arrested and convicted. My happiest moments are when we intercepted a consignment of 14,200kg of cocaine from Chile. I was equally very pleased in 2014 when the NDLEA destroyed a total of 4,529.15 hectares of cannabis farmland representing 53,719,342.32 kilogrammes of cannabis. This is unprecedented in the Agency’s record of cannabis farm destruction since inception”.
He stressed that deliberate efforts must be made to sustain the gains recorded and equally move the Agency to the next higher level. “Illicit drug proceeds can be used to fuel corruption and finance terrorism. We have a responsibility therefore to continue to build on the achievements made in drug control” Giade stated.