The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), revealed today that 15 drug kingpins were among the 3,412 offenders successfully prosecuted and convicted in 2023, collectively receiving 168 years of imprisonment.
Addressing commanders, officers, and men of the Agency during an awards and commendations ceremony at its national headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, Marwa commended the outstanding performances of 104 personnel and 13 commands in the 2nd half of 2023.
Marwa emphasized the continuous improvement in the Agency’s fight against illicit substance trafficking since the launch of the renewed campaign in January 2021. He highlighted the significant achievements of 2023, including 13,664 arrests, seizure of 1,606,799.09 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs, and the conviction of 3,412 offenders.
“In 2023, at least 15 drug kingpins were sentenced to a collective 168 years of imprisonment, marking a substantial improvement over our performance in 2022,” stated Marwa.
The NDLEA boss also underscored the intensified efforts in combating cannabis farming, with seven successful major operations leading to the discovery and destruction of over 206 hectares of cannabis plantations. Moreover, Marwa emphasized the importance of awareness and prevention in the fight against drug abuse, highlighting the Agency’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy initiative.
In 2023, the Agency conducted 2,725 sensitization lectures and programs nationwide, targeting various demographics, including schools, worship centers, workplaces, and communities. Marwa reassured the NDLEA workforce of continuous efforts to improve their welfare, citing ongoing projects such as barracks construction and amendments to the NDLEA Act.
However, Marwa issued a stern warning against disciplinary infractions, stressing the importance of adherence to the Agency’s core values and standard operating procedures.
The Chairman expressed gratitude to individuals, institutions, and international partners for their support, including the European Union, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and various security organizations and sister agencies. He also thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his encouragement and support to the NDLEA.
The ceremony concluded with Marwa affirming the Agency’s commitment to upholding meritocracy and fostering a culture of excellence within its ranks.
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By Fikunmi Sokoya