The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Thursday, burnt over 560,068 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs seized by operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command, the Lagos State Command, and the Seme Special Area Command from persons convicted and sentenced by the Federal High Court as well as abandoned seizures.
According to the NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, this was the largest collection of illicit drugs to be destroyed in the 32-year history of the anti-narcotics agency.
Leading other top officials of the NDLEA, other security agencies, and members of the public in the burning of heaps of the illicit drugs, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) said the exercise was a strong message to drug barons and cartels.
He added that drug barons will continue to lose their huge investments in the illicit trade if they fail to back out and look for other legitimate businesses.
A breakdown of the 560,068.31414 kilograms of the illicit substances burnt at a brief ceremony in Badagary area of Lagos include 7,414.519kg cocaine, 161,206kg heroin, 1,144.8kg methamphetamine, 60,144kg ephedrine, 311,416.19162kg cannabis sativa, 10,091.83kg khat; 273.223kg tramadol, 0.000170kg benylin with codeine and 8,207.7505kg of other psychotropic substances.
Speaking at the ceremony, Marwa said, “It is gratifying to know that our drug law enforcement efforts are not in vain. Our efforts not only resulted in the seizure of the aforementioned drugs but also culminated in the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the offenders in court.
“Since January 2021, we have arrested over 17,647 drug offenders of which 2,385 have been convicted in court. In the process, we have seized over 3.5 million kilos of assorted drugs”.
He added that the event was yet another indication that officers and men of the NDLEA are not relenting in the pursuit of the agency’s mandate to make Nigeria safe from the drug scourge.
Marwa said, “I stand here today before you to give the assurance that NDLEA will continue to explore various ways, legal and within the ambit of orthodox drug law enforcement, to address the drug problem in the country.
“We equally appreciate the contribution of our local and international partners, who were instrumental to the successes we have recorded. We also thank members of society who are working with us to safeguard the health of our communities.”