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15 Drug Kingpins Out Of 3,412 Offenders Convicted In 2023 – NDLEA

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Wednesday, said a total of 15 drug kingpins out of 3, 412 offenders, who were successfully prosecuted and convicted in 2023, bagged 168 years of imprisonment collectively.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing commanders, officers and men of the Agency during an awards and commendations ceremony at its national headquarters in Abuja.

A statement issued on Wednesday by Femi Babafemi, the NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy said a total of 104 personnel and 13 commands with outstanding performances in the 2nd half of 2023 were also recognized and rewarded at the event.

“Indeed, our performance as individuals and as a collective could always be better; nonetheless, we must appreciate every effort made to help sustain the momentum of our upward trajectory since January 2021, when we launched the renewed fight against illicit substance trafficking.

“According to our statistics, we recorded 13, 664 arrests leading to the seizure of 1, 606, 799.09 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs and 3,412 convictions with a total of 5, 570 offenders charged to court in 2023. It’s indeed a year that at least 15 drug kingpins bagged 168 years of imprisonment collectively. That is a substantial improvement over our performance in 2022. Notably, in 2023, we also ramped up our enforcement action against cannabis farms and carried out at least seven successful major operations, leading to the discovery and destruction of over 206 hectares of cannabis plantations,” Marwa said.

The NDLEA boss explained that the Agency has intensified the war against drug abuse (WADA) advocacy initiative nationwide to create awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and encourage those already in it to seek treatment.

“The frequency and intensity of our advocacy throughout the year improved considerably. Zonal and state commands have been very dedicated to propagating WADA advocacy. As a result, a total of 2,725 sensitisation lectures and programmes were held in schools, worship centres, workplaces and communities among others.

“A breakdown of the WADA lectures held in 2023 shows: 807 in Primary/Secondary Schools; 146 in Tertiary Institutions; 488 for out-of-school children; 264 in worship centres; 140 in military/paramilitary organisations; 90 in other workplaces, among others. Just as well, our commands and formations have coped with the increased workload of counselling activities leading to the counselling and rehabilitation of 10, 904 drug users”, he stated.

He assured that he will not relent in his effort to improve the welfare of the NDLEA workforce.

Marwa, however, warned that the Agency will be firm on disciplinary issues, insisting that every officer of NDLEA is expected to work within the ambit of the core values and strictly adhere to standard operating procedures.

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