15 Drug Kingpins Bag 168 Years Imprisonment In 2023 – Marwa*

Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Muhamad Buba Marwa (Retd).

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed that a total of 15 drug kingpins have bagged 168 years jail terms collectively in 2023.

The anti-narcotics agency’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brig-Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa, made the disclosure on Wednesday while addressing commanders, officers, and men of the agency during an awards and commendations ceremony at its headquarters in Abuja.

He said the collective performance of the agency would always be better, “nonetheless we must appreciate every effort made to help sustain the momentum of our upward trajectory since January 2021” when the renewed fight against illicit substance trafficking was launched.

Marwa disclosed that the agency recorded 13,664 arrests leading to the seizure of 1,606,799.09 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs and 3,412 convicts with a total of 5,570 offenders charged to court in 2023.

In addition, the agency ramped up its enforcement action against cannabis farms and carried out at least 7 successful major operations, leading to the discovery and destruction of over 206 hectares of cannabis plantations.

The NDLEA boss also explained that it intensified its war against drug abuse (WADA) advocacy initiative nationwide in order to create awareness about the dangers of substance abuse, aimed at prevention, and to encourage those already in it to seek treatment.

He added further that as a result of considerable improvement in the frequency and intensity of its advocacy throughout the year, a total of 2,725 sensitization lectures and programs were held in schools, worship centres, workplaces, and communities among others, and the rehabilitation of 10,904 drug users.

According to him, the past three years have brought different dynamics to the operations and performance of the agency, a development which has attracted commendation from home and abroad. He made references to the contents of a letter two weeks ago from the National Assembly conveying the decision of the parliament to commend the efforts of the agency in the fight against illicit drug consumption and trafficking.

“This recognition by both Chambers of the National Assembly should serve as a further morale booster and a reminder that your efforts are not going unnoticed”, Marwa told the officers.

He assured that he will not relent in his effort to improve the welfare of the NDLEA workforce, referring to an amended NDLEA Act last year that is currently receiving due attention at the 10th National Assembly, and the agency’s barracks projects that are recording progress, and some of which hopefully could be ready for commissioning before the middle of the year.

“These few examples of the efforts going on behind the scenes are evidence that we are working in your best interest”, he said.

He however warned that the agency will be firm on disciplinary issues, saying, “we don’t take infractions lightly. Every officer of NDLEA is expected to work within the ambit of our core values and strictly adhere to our standard operating procedure. We expect our officers to be the epitome of service, selflessness and sacrifice”.

Marwa expressed appreciation to individuals and institutions that have contributed to the success of the agency. He thanked such organizations as the European Union (EU), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), as well as sister agencies and security organisations.

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