NDLEA reacts to highway extortion allegation

FOLLOWING recent extortion and bribery allegations along Nigerian highways, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has stated that it will take strict action against any corrupt acts by its personnel.

This was in reaction to an investigation by HumAngle that accused officials from the NDLEA and five other security agencies – the Police, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigerian Army and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) – of extorting money from drivers and other road users at checkpoints along the Maiduguri highways in Borno state.

The organisation’s director of media and advocacy, Femi Babafemi, highlighted that measures are in place to prevent internal corruption.

Babafemi made the statement at an episode of an anti-corruption radio show, ‘Public Conscience’, broadcast on Wednesday in Abuja and produced by the Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development (PRIMORG).

“When you see officers of the agency on the highway, their responsibility purely is to check for drugs and not anything else, and so if you’re not trafficking or carrying drugs, you have no business with them.




     

     

    “Rather, what people complain about NDLEA personnel on the roads is a delay in time used in searching vehicles which I don’t encourage,” Babafemi stressed.

    Femi Babafemi (white clothes) at the Radio studio

    Femi Babafemi (white clothes) at the Radio studio

    The investigative report (read here) put forward that drivers frequently feel obligated to pay security guards at checkpoints out of concern over delays. Along with NDLEA officials, the Nigerian Army, the Police, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) were also included as suspects in the report.

    PRIMORG in a statement made available to The ICIR said they had written to the NIS and the Nigeria Police Force for their responses to the allegation. At the same time, the Nigerian Army and FRSC failed to turn up for the radio programme despite being notified of the programme.

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