NDLEA Boss Threatens to Send Drug Barons, Traffickers to Jail
By Michael Olugbode
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), has threatened to send drug barons and traffickers to jail “as well as seize illicit money”.
The anti-narcotics boss, who said the seizure of cash and drugs with an estimated valued of over N90 billion in the last four months, is just the beginning, adding that the agency would continue to make life difficult for drug barons and traffickers.
Marwa, while acknowledging the performance of 45 officers and some commands at a ceremony to reward outstanding performance on Monday at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, said there is continued need to identify and seize funds and assets linked to drug barons and traffickers in the country.
He said the vigour with which the agency is targeting drug cartels has led to the seizure of drugs and cash worth over N90 billion in four months, stressing that there is need to deny criminal elements all benefits of their proceeds of crime in addition to sending them to jail.
He said: “We are breaking these new grounds, because of our collective resolve and our rededication to service. Were it not for you, the achievements of the past four months wouldn’t have been possible. We wouldn’t have been able to arrest 2,175 drug traffickers, neither would the seizure of 2,050,766.33 kilogrammes of assorted illicit drugs would have been possible if you had chosen to do just the minimal work across your various commands. If our approach has been one of business as usual, we would not have been able to seize drug and cash valued at over N90 billion in just four months.
“Think of what a fraction of that could have done to the various criminality in Nigeria. The filing of about 2,100 drug cases in court with over 500 convictions was made possible by the collective efforts of our officers and men who decided to go the extra mile.
“Today, it is part of our records and collective credits that we are not only breaking down the high walls shielding drug cartels but also reining in drug barons. So, everyone of you, our officers and men, spread across the country made the achievements possible. I want to assure you that the agency will not rest on its oars.
“Our offensive action will not stop until our streets, communities, towns and cities have been cleaned up of any remnant of illicit drugs. While we keep up the offensive in the field, the leadership of the agency will daily continue to work out effective strategies and tactics to sustain the momentum.”
He noted that “is why we have strengthened our Directorate of Assets and Financial Investigations to go after all assets or funds linked to drug trafficking which had led to interim and final forfeiture orders on assets and funds worth billions of naira linked to drug traffickers and barons”.
He said it should be of significant interest the agency’s current investigation of a N30 billion slush fund believed to be proceeds of drugs.
He said he instituted the bi-monthly commendation and award system to reward outstanding officers, men and commands as well as to motivate them and their counterparts to do more.
According to him, “As we are gathered here today to recognise and applaud you for your outstanding performances, let me also remind you that the reward for good work is more work and as such, I want to charge you all to go all out from here and do much more so that in another two months when we are reviewing our records of performance, we would have doubled what we have on the slate today.”