A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has charged the Federal Government to adopt a holistic approach in seizing properties linked to drug barons, stating that it should be extended to corrupt civil servants and politicians.
Adegboruwa stated this on Tuesday, while commenting on the recent feat recorded by the NDLEA.
TheFact Daily had earlier reported that the anti-narcotics agency, in a statement, disclosed that it had seized no fewer than 286 assets and 600 bank accounts of drug barons between January 2021 and August 2022. The assets consisted of 249 exotic cars and 37 mansions scattered all across the country.
Adegboruwa posited that, “the aggregate of all the accounts frozen and all luxury cars and items taken cannot compare with what politicians pocket or what civil servants embezzle in the example of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
“So, if there is a war against corruption either by way of drugs, embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, the government should be holistic in that regard.”
He also posited that seized items should not be allowed to deteriorate but used to impact the economy positively.
“When you seize an item, you don’t allow it to disintegrate. So many houses and cars seized are no longer usable. The government should be proactive by seeking productive use of the seized items and not grind the economy further. We should be able to get positive effects from the seizures.”
Speaking on the implication of the seizures, a legal practitioner, Abdullahi Gayam, said that drug barons may end up looking for another means to continue their crime.
“Nobody wants his or her properties to be seized. Naturally, these seizures by the FG will make drug barons rethink or adopt an entirely different way to acquire more properties,’’ he surmised.
Furthermore, the Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, Idayat Hassan, describing NDLEA’s massive seizures as a welcome development, said that there had never been a concerted effort in the fight against drugs, in the last decade, like there was now.
She, however, tasked the NDLEA to ensure effective management of the seized assets, stating that it would help to cover for past shortfalls of the agency.
The Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Ariyo-Dare Atoye commended the NDLEA for its fight against drugs, describing it as the only agency of government under the Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) regime that has genuinely and sincerely earned the commendation of Nigerians.
He added that the seizure by the agency implied that traffickers had identified Nigeria as a profitable destination if it were not for the agency’s intervention.
The Coordinator, Advocate for Peoples Rights and Justice, Victor Giwa, noted that the best way to combat drug trafficking was to fully equip the NDLEA and strengthen its operations against traffickers.
He called for the legalisation of Indian hemp, arguing that other countries have found that the more they campaign against it, the higher the consumption rate.