By Bode Olushegun
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said drugs worth over a billion had been seized from 380 arrested suspects since the beginning of 2020 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Borno State commandant of NDLEA , Mr. Joseph Icha, said this on Wednesday while briefing journalists on efforts of his command to control the sales and uses of illicit drugs.
Icha also revealed that about 15 people had been admitted and were receiving counseling at the Command’s drug remand unit.
He noted he as well as some of his staff members had undergone a level of research to know how so much drugs were trafficked into Borno and had found out that a whole lot of drugs were hidden in food stuffs transported to the state, which enabled traffickers evade detection at various check points.
Icha lamented that a lot of drugs were consumed during the COVID-19 lockdown in the state, stressing that: “Massive consumption of hard drugs took place during the hours people spent inside their homes.
“Although the lockdown created several challenges affecting the heavy movement of drugs, some people used the leeway of food stuffs to bring in drugs for the consumption by unsuspecting young people.
“We arrested 380 offenders with drugs worth over N1 billion between January to July this year in Maiduguri. We have also found out that the environment around the Maiduguri Zoo became a vital area of consumption zone for drug addicts in the capital city.
“Apart from the fact that over ten tonnes of drugs were seized, we also seized vehicles bearing them and sealed homes where they were found in large quantities.”
The Commandant said that the pattern of consumption still remained cannabis, cocaine and heroine, that are consumed mainly by privileged young people due to the pressure of the environment coupled with insurgency.
He called for transparency, and that all the law enforcement agencies in the State should deliver all their seized drugs for proper accountability.
He however revealed that about five military and paramilitary agents were arrested during the period under review for various drug law offences.