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Why NDLEA targets assets of drug barons, traffickers – Marwa

THE chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mohammed Buba Marwa, has vowed that the agency would continue to go after the assets of drug barons and traffickers as part of strategies to fight illicit drugs and cartels.

Marwa stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, June, 19, while kicking off week-long activities to celebrate the 2024 International Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking.

The event is in conjunction with stakeholders, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC)

The NDLEA boss, represented by the agency’s secretary, Shadrach Haruna, stated, “Our offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers, launched in January 2021, has to date continued to yield the desired result with the arrests and prosecutions of several barons.

“As you are all aware, two serial traffickers got life imprisonment in court in April. Our prosecution efforts have continued to achieve successes in courts given the painstaking investigations and diligence in the prosecution of cases,” Marwa stated.

According to Marwa, case preparations by the agency are strong and have been further strengthened with the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA 2022).

He added that apart from conviction, the convicts’ assets used as instruments for crime or the proceeds derived from the crime would be forfeited to the federal government.

Speaking on the drug demand reduction efforts of the agency, Marwa said its flagship programme, War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), which was built on “the whole of society approach” had been a success.

He said the effort was a preventive action against drug abuse and an awareness vehicle for public engagement and collaboration against illicit trafficking and abuse.

He said the effort aligned with the 2024 World Drug Day’s (WDD) theme.

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He explained that the WDD, observed on June 26 yearly, “is an important day for the global community and an occasion during which current efforts against illicit drug problems are given policy direction for the next 12 months.”




     

     

    He added that the theme for this year “The Evidence is Clear: Invest in Prevention”, emphasised the importance of preventing people from falling into the danger of experimenting with illicit drugs and subsequently falling into the trap of dependence on psychoactive substances.

    According to him, “Prevention is an important aspect of the effort to curb the menace of abuse of illicit drugs in society. At NDLEA, prevention, as ably anchored in our War Against Drug Abuse (WADA). Social advocacy programme is a priority area for us. Within our modest means and with the support of the Federal Government and our various stakeholders, we have invested in prevention by various means over the past three years as part of the reforms being undertaken in the agency.”

    In his remarks, UNODC Country Deputy Representative, Danilo Campisi, called on the government at all levels and other stakeholders in Nigeria to invest in drug use preventive measures.

    He said projections showed that by 2030, there will be a 40 per cent rise in the use of drugs in Africa, based on the population of young people.

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    Bankole Abe
    Reporter at ICIR | [email protected] | Author Page

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