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NDLEA, Where Are The Seized Drugs? – By Emmanuel Onwubiko


Ever wondered constructively what happened or happens  to the tons of hard drugs that are on daily basis seized by men and officers of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency? 

Have you ever  reflected on why the Boko Haram terrorists have waged a seemingly unending insurgency against the Nigerian State which has so far claimed over thirty thousand innocent Nigerians and the destruction of properties put conservatively at over $100 bn? 

I will give you a home truth- intake of hard drugs by members of  Islamic fundamentalism  called Boko Haram terror campaign network increases the severity of their involvement in bloodshed and violence.   

Have you ever given a thought to the indubitable scientific fact that hard drugs’ consumption increases the potency of violence and terrorism? 

Do you also know that most suicide bombing attacks are instigated in whole by the overwhelming influences of hard drugs?

These questions have become increasingly forceful given the porous record keeping character of bureaucrats and civil servants in Nigeria and especially officials of law enforcement agencies. 

Let me give you an example- few days back when Alhaji Ibrahim Magu the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) appeared for his second confirmation hearing before a session of the Nigerian Senate and he was asked just a simple question to tell Nigerians whom he serves the total worth of seized or forfeited assets and funds and this man at the helm of affairs in EFCC feigned ignorance. 

His response: “I don’t know”, he stuttered to the shock and consternation of Nigerians. 

Some observers see his cynical response as a deliberate ploy to conceal such a weighty information from Nigerians but others believed that Ibrahim Magu has no grasp or clues of the extent of assets seized on the interim and/or finally forfeited assets from the numerous Nigerians in conflict with the anti-graft laws. 

Ibrahim Lamorde a disgraced erstwhile chairman of EFCC was dragged before the National Assembly for allegedly diverting some forfeited assets belonging to Nigeria.  Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mrs. Farida Waziri who once held office as Chair of EFCC even accused her predecessor- Nuhu Ribadu of deliberate poor record keeping.  

Another example will suffice for the purpose of establishing our first Premise that NDLEA may not be in the best of position to render complete and transparent account of the quantity of hard drugs and assets of suspected drug lords captured by them in the past few years. 

This example is the sad scenarios that play out in most criminal trials across the Country whereby police officers charged with documenting and securing exhibits such as cash and physical assets like cars mostly pilfer or divert these items or even replace them with forged currencies and completely depleted cars. 

In some very disturbing instances, even judges are known to have diverted exhibits like cash kept with the Courts. These ugly things do happen in Nigeria- a country whereby accountability and transparency are total strangers in most government offices. 

The logical question that flows from the above unfortunate scenarios of pilfering of exhibits by government officials is to inquire into the strategic auditing of all the seized hard drugs by the NDLEA. 

In those days, NDLEA was always seen on public television burning what they claimed to be hard drugs seized from suspects even without any independent forensic confirmation from a third-party but gullible Nigerians clapped for these anti- hard drugs operatives. 

But since 1999 till date one can count on the finger tips how many times these sorts of public burning of seized hard drugs have happened.  Is it that match boxes are no longer available in the markets or what? 

So where are all the hard drugs seized and why has violence associated with  intake of hard drugs such as kidnappings, armed robberies, terrorism and thuggery on the rise? Why are cases of domestic violence on the increase?

Why and from where do all the suspects the NDLEA keep arresting daily getting their wares or are they recycling the seized hard drugs with the connivance of some evil operatives? 

This last question is possible because even in the United kingdom whereby record keeping is very scientific and accurate, a Police officer was arrested for diverting exhibits of hard drugs worth millions of cash into his refrigerator for his own use which he usually supplies to the streets. 

We will return to make reference to that story of the rogue police officer in the United kingdom  who stole from the exhibits. 

But lets even look at the account of how much volume of drugs seized in a given year by the NDLEA. 

In this instance, we recall that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency  said it intercepted various narcotics weighing 903,624.56kg with a street value of over N22bn in 2015.

The NDLEA, in a statement by its Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said the agency arrested a total of 8,778 suspected drug traffickers, comprising 8,143 males and 635 females in 2015.

The anti-narcotics agency also said the 903,624.56kg worth of narcotic drugs seized from drug trafficking cartels included cannabis, 871,480.32kg; psychotropic substances, 30,652.93kg; ephedrine, 785.10kg; methamphetamine, 410.82kg; cocaine, 260.47kg; heroin, 30.09kg; and amphetamine 4.83kg.

The NDLEA also claimed to have won 1,690 cases prosecuted in 2015, the statement added.

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