–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Mike SOGBOLA, North-East
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said drugs worth over a billion were seized from 380 arrested suspects since the beginning of 2020 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Borno State commandant of NDLEA , Mr. Joseph Icha said this on Wednesday while briefing journalists on efforts of his command to control the sales and uses of illicit drugs.
He also revealed that about 15 people have been admitted and are receiving counseling at the Command’s drug remand unit.
Icha noted he as well as some of his staff have undergone a level of research to know how so much drugs were trafficked into Borno and have found out that a whole lot of drugs were hidden in food stuffs transported to the state, this enable traffickers evade detection at various check points.
He lamented that a lot of drugs were consumed during the COVID-19 lockdown in the state, stressing that: “Massive consumption of hard drugs took place during the hours people spent inside their homes.
“Although the lockdown created several challenges affecting the heavy movement of drugs, some people used the leeway of food stuffs to bring in drugs for the consumption by unsuspecting young people.
“We arrested 380 offenders with drugs worth over N1 billion between January to July this year in Maiduguri. We have also found out that the environment around the Maiduguri Zoo became a vital area of consumption zone for drug addicts in the capital city.
“Apart from the fact that over ten tonnes of drugs were seized, we also seized vehicles bearing them and sealed homes where they were found in large quantities.”
The Commandant said that the pattern of consumption still remains cannabis, cocaine and heroine, that are consumed mainly by privileged young people due to the pressure of the environment coupled with insurgency.
He asked that for proper transparency, all the law enforcement agencies in the State to deliver all their seized drugs for proper accountability.
He however revealed that about five military and paramilitary agents have been arrested during the period under review for various drug law offences.