© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Kano, Katsina Top List Of Drug Offenders In Nigeria
Kano State tops the list of states in Nigeria where The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, made the most number of arrests for drug related offences in the last four years.
According to statistics released by the agency, 34,499 drug-related arrests were made across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, between 2012 and 2015.
Out of these arrests, 7,317 suspects were actually convicted and punished.
According to the report, Kano State in the North West geo-political zone is number one among the states of the federation with highest cases of drug-related offences within the period under review, just as the zone is also number one among the six geopolitical zones in the country with 8,939 cases.
Katsina, Plateau and Ekiti States were ranked second, third and fourth respectively with a total of 2,173; 1,342 and 1,088 cases of arrests.
In 2012 there were 8,052 drug-related arrests, 8,843 in 2013; 8,826 in 2014 and 8,778 in 2015.
An analysis of the figures according to geopolitical zones shows that the South West, with 6,999 cases of arrests, comes second highest behind the North West zone.
North Central came third with 5,574 cases, while the South South occupied the fourth place with 5,545 cases.
The South East and North East geopolitical zones made up the rear with 4,230 and 3,212 cases of arrest respectively.
The fact that the North East region which has been under the Boko Haram insurgency has the least cases of drug-related offences, could mean that terrorism has very little to do with drug use.
It could also mean that the NDLEA was not able to effectively carry out its responsibilities in the region due to the high level of insecurity.
The report also indicates that the NDLEA had secured a total of 7,317 convictions for drug-related offences within the 4 years under review.
1,738 convictions were secured in 2012; 1,865 in 2013; 2,054 in 2014 and 1,660 in 2015.Reacting to the development, Chairman of the NDLEA, Muhammad Abdallah, said that the agency will increase its vigilance at the Kaduna international airport to prevent drug cartels from having a field day.
Abdallah made the pledge following the interception of two suspected drug traffickers at the Abuja Airport few hours before the airport was close don March 8.One of the suspects was arrested with 2.150kg of heroin from Tanzania and the other with 386 grammes of cocaine to Cambodia.
Preliminary investigation revealed that both suspects had planned to capitalize on the temporary relocation to Kaduna airport to move narcotics but the NDLEA promptly nipped the plan in the bud.