From Ofoyeju Mitchell
The Lagos State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has won 123 convictions at the Federal High Court Lagos in 2014. The convicts include 117 males and 9 females who were sentenced to between one day and 15 years for various drug offences. Justice Musa Kurya sentenced a pregnant woman, Kudirat Bello to one day imprisonment for possessing 33.3kg of cannabis while 38 year old Obinna Okeke was sentenced to 15 years with hard labour by Justice M. D. Idris for possession of 3kg of cannabis. 118 cases were pending as at December 31, 2014. The command also detected a clandestine laboratory in the State.
Lanre Salami who was arrested at Oshodi lied to the court that he was 15 years old. The court later discovered that he was actually 17 years old. He was sentenced to 10 years for unlawful dealing in 400 grammes of cannabis. Salisu Usman, 42, was apprehended at Iddo Motor Park on his way to Zamfara, his home State with 47kg of diazepam. He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment with hard labour.
NDLEA Lagos State commander, Mr. Aliyu Sule said that over two metric tons of illicit drugs were intercepted and an illegal factory used for the production of methamphetamine was also detected and shut down in the State in 2014. According to Sule, “the Lagos State command seized a total of 2,056.949kg and apprehended 434 suspected drug traffickers. Those arrested include 413 males and 21 females. Drug exhibits seized are as follows; cannabis 1,989.716kg, cocaine 188.4 grammes, heroin 1.645kg, methamphetamine 7.6kg and psychotropic substances 57.8kg. Apart from those prosecuted, others found to be addicted were counseled. In addition, a clandestine laboratory used for the manufacture of methamphetamine was discovered and shut down in 2014”.
Those arrested include a 53-year-old suspected drug kingpin. The suspect, a businessman and Chief Executive Officer of Best Fellows Nigeria Limited, Charles Okos Chijioke of Canal Avenue Estate Okota, Lagos was arrested in connection with the clandestine laboratory. Mr. Charles is said to be producing methamphetamine at Lateef Adegboyega Street, Ago Palace Way, Lagos. Items recovered from the laboratory includes; 7.6kg of methamphetamine, nine drums of Toluene, Toyota 4 Runner Jeep, Toyota Hiace Bus and a Pressure Pot.
The suspect in his statement said that he was introduced to methamphetamine production by a friend. “I only attended Primary and Secondary School before I went into trading. A friend introduced me to the business of chemical importation from China and Europe in 2012. A year later, I learnt how to produce methamphetamine because there is high profit in it. I began to produce methamphetamine in my house in 2013. My first production was bad because of inexperience. Gradually, I was able to perfect the process. That was how I got involved in the drug business” Charles stated. The suspect has a wife and daughter and hails from Anambra State.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade assured members of the public that drug traffickers shall not go unpunished. In his words, “the NDLEA will continue to enforce the provisions of the Act and bring offenders to justice. Let me assure members of the public that no drug dealer shall go unpunished. Suspected drug traffickers should be reported to the nearest NDLEA office”.
Giade also urged parents to teach their children to avoid drug trafficking and abuse.