The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Abia State Command, says it successfully prosecuted 187 drug traffickers out of the 430 suspects arrested by the agency between January to November 2019.
The NDLEA Abia Commander, Akingbade Bamidele, disclosed this to journalists in Aba on Monday, while explaining the agency’s achievements from the beginning of the year to the last month of the year.
Bamidele also told Journalists that after conclusion of some cases, the Federal High Court has given them a go-ahead to destroy seven tons, out of nine tons of illicit drugs and substances ranging from cannabis, cocaine, heroin, tramadol, benylin with codeine and other psychotropic substances ceased between 2016-2019.
He added that the success recorded by the agency in nipping drug activities in almost all the black spots in Abia has made the state Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to call for a joint Security Taskforce against drugs in this month of December.
The Abia NDLEA Commander said that the in preparation for the Joint Taskforce, the agency has mapped out every necessary plans to ensure that Abia experience a drug free yuletide and 2020.
“We shall be bringing in our tactical team from Enugu to help us. Within the second and third week of December 2019, you will notice a lot of the activities of the agency because of the directive of the state Governor.
“We want to ensure that the yuletide period is safe for everybody where everybody can go about their lawful businesses without being disturbed by drugs and its users.
“Area Commanders have been tasked in Ohafia, Isuikwuato and Umuahia to send intelligence to the State Headquarters so that with the Joint Taskforce, we’ll be able to cover those areas and beam our searchlight on those areas and make sure that we don’t just concentrate on major towns in the state.
“We want our activities in the state to be holistic so that everybody will be able to sleep with their two eyes closed as we move into 2020,” he said
Bamidele further said that the agency has discovered some Black Spots in markets, schools and motor parks, adding that efforts have been put in place to make them drug free before the new year.
Listing the black spots, Bamidele said, “The schools include: Girls Secondary School, Abayi Aba, Ngwa High School, Okigwe Road Secondary School, Osusu Secondary School and City Primary School.
“We’ve discovered that a section of the Ahia-Ohuru(New Market) has been taken over by this hoodlums. In Ariaria International Market, there’s a section of the market called Black Kingdom which we’re discussing with the Osisioma LGA concerning an uncompleted building there that’s used to perpetrate crimes and sell drugs.
“We’re appealing with government to do something about that building. I’ve appealed with the state Governor and he’s willing to help the NDLEA to ensure that this issue is resolved. There’s also issue at Ehere Market and the Cemetery Market.
“In fact we’ve discovered a section of the Cemetery Market called Black Shade where open use of drugs, open defecation and prostitution are taking place.
“We’re also looking at Parks. We have our outlet at Milverton/York and the drivers association are now cooperating with the NDLEA and have assured us that they’ll be happy to partner with us.”
He said that the agency has also recorded success in nipping rampant use of psychotropic substances in the state stressing that drugs like tramadol are now too scarce in Abia State unlike before.
“We discovered high rate of consumption of psychotropic substances and we swung into action to address that. Between February till October this year, about 700,000 tablets of tramadol was ceased.
“If you now look at the price between 2018-2019, tramadol is difficult to get in Abia State now and if you’re going to get it, you’re going to pay through your nostrils.
“A sachet of 10 tablets of tramadol cost around N1,200 which was previously been sold for N200 that means that the NDLEA is mopping out this thing from the markets.
“Those outlets we’ve discovered that these things are coming out from, we’re working in tandem with the authorities there like the Ariaria Drug Market as well as the patent medicine dealers in Abia State.
“We’ve done a workshop for them about 5, 000 of them were involved in the workshop that took place in Aba, Umuahia, Isiukwuato, Isiala-Ngwa and Ohafia. I’m sure we’re winning the war in nipping hard drugs.”
Bamidele also said that NDLEA discovered that drugs users moved into hotels because of constant activities of security agencies in their former hideouts which he said the agency is getting every cooperation to stop.
He added that the state Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Okochuckwu, who also serve as Abia State Chairman of Drug Abuse Control Committee, directed the agency to organize a workshop for hoteliers in Aba where about 105 of them were enlightened on the dangers of allowing drug activities in their premises.
“We’ve told them what to do. We’ve made it clear that it’s not their duty to arrest anybody using drugs in their premises, but it’s their responsibility to inform the NDLEA or the police.
“We’ve enlightened them that using of their premises for drugs have a very stringent consequences as such premises can be forfeited to the Federal Government if we pursue the matter till the end.
“So, we’ve asked them to lighten up some of the areas these people normally use for drugs. We’ve equally encouraged them to put a sign of ‘no illicit drugs use in the hotels and this has been working as they’ve been giving us some information.
“That’s what led to arrest of a man who’s storing drugs he wanted to sell all over Abia last month. He normally bring cannabis from Edo State to his warehouse in Aba here where he store them. We got credible information and we arrested him and he’s now in custody.
“We seized six bags of cannabis he brought from Edo and was awaiting more before we arrested him. We’ll charge him to court, ensure he faces the law and as well make sure that people of Abia State have a drug free yuletide period.”
The Abia NDLEA Commander thanked the State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, for showing interest in the activities of agency stressing that with more support from him, Abia will enter the new year with clean record on illicit drugs related activities
The post NDLEA prosecute 187 suspects, assures drug-free yuletide/new year in Abia appeared first on Daily Trust.