National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Reveals 15 Nigerian Drug Kingpins Jailed for a Total of 168 Years in 2023
NDLEA’s Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) disclosed this while addressing commanders, officers and men of the agency during an award and commendation ceremony in Abuja where 104 personnel and 13 commands that had outstanding performances in the 2nd half of 2023 were recognized and rewarded.
He said the 15 drug kingpins were among the 3,412 drug offenders that were successfully prosecuted and convicted in 2023.
In his words: “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 kilogrammes 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.”
The NDLEA boss also explained that to create awareness about the dangers of substance abuse aimed at prevention and encourage those already in it to seek treatment, the Agency intensified its war against drug abuse (WADA) advocacy initiative nationwide.
“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, work places 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 work places, 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 said those who had been in the Agency longer than 2021 could attest to the fact that the past three years had brought different dynamics to the operations and performance of the agency, a development that had attracted commendations from home and abroad.