By Bukar Bolori
No less than 677 traffickers have been convicted and sentenced to various jail terms between January and March 2022 in suit by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The agency said the convictions were made in cases instituted over a total of 3,359 arrests and seizure of 65,915.891 kilogrammes of assorted drugs within the same period.
The spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi disclosed that 2,223 drug users were also counselled through brief interventions and rehabilitated in NDLEA facilities across the country in the first quarter of the year, insisting that the figures represent a fair balance between the agency’s drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction activities.
He said Lagos has the highest figure of drug seizures with 22,192.62 kilogrammes of illicit substances recovered from parts of the state, followed by the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, also in Lagos, with 8,979.869 kilogrammes of drugs seized between January and March, while Kano and Kaduna led the pack in the arrests of offenders with 194 arrests each within the same period.
He said a total of 257 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed in forests across Ondo state, 14.869 hectares suffered same fate in Edo and an hectare destroyed in Bayelsa state within the same period.
A further breakdown of the drugs seized within the first quarter of the year shows Cannabis leading the table in January with 8,205.75kg; followed by Codeine -414.281kg; Diazepam -192.459kg; Tramadol -135.067kg; Rophynol -43.062kg and Cocaine -24.32kg.
In February, Cannabis also topped the list of seizures with 20,538.79kg; Codeine -1,848.052kg; Tramadol -540.354kg; Diazepam -137.041kg; Rophynol -80.261kg; Cocaine -15.727kg; Methamphetamine – 6.207kg and Heroin – 4.006kg.
Cannabis also topped the list of seizures in March with 21,583.81kg; followed by Tramadol -8,965.319kg; Codeine -417.207kg; Diazepam -57.755kg; Cocaine -45.082kg; Methamphetamine -7.527kg; Rophynol -6.34kg and Heroin -1.497kg.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while appreciating the commitment of officers and men of the agency for a commendable performance in the first quarter of the year, urged them not to rest on their oars.
He assured them that every outstanding performance would always attract commensurate commendation and/or reward.