The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has handed over large quantities of illicit drugs seized from suspected criminals to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Customs Comptroller-General, Bashir Adeniyi, handed over the seized drugs to Samuel Gadzama, an officer in charge of operations and narcotics at the NDLEA, in Abuja, on Thursday.
The drugs handed over to NDLEA included 1, 371 sacks and 13, 906 parcels of Cannabis Savita (Indian Hemp), as well as, 2,409 packets, and 8,809 unregistered sachets of tramadol, along with 2,042 sealed nylons containing D5 tablets.
Adeniyi said the seizures were made between January and November, with five suspects arrested and in custody, except one of them who had been granted administrative bail. He added that the seizures were made by Federal Operation Units in zones A, B, C, as well as, Ogun 1 Area Command and Western Marine Command.
“Today marks a crucial moment in our collective fight against the grave threats posed by illicit drugs, particularly Cannabis Sativa and tramadol. The Nigeria Customs Service, in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), is here to underscore the urgency of our battle against the impact of these substances on our society,” he said.
He said leading authorities in the field, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), had consistently warned against the consequences of unchecked drug abuse, linking it to increased crime rates, compromised public safety, and hindrance to economic development.
“This is not solely a Customs or NDLEA concern; it is a national crisis that demands immediate and collective attention. The alarming extent of this menace is vividly illustrated by the widespread nature of the seizures, spanning across various customs commands nationwide. The seizures being handed over to the NDLEA today are a testament to the relentless efforts of the Nigeria Customs Service. The battle against illicit drugs requires a united front, and communities play a pivotal role in this fight.
“We urge communities to see themselves as key partners in the quest for a drug-free nation. It is not just a responsibility of law enforcement agencies; it is a collective duty of every citizen. By partnering with Customs and NDLEA, communities become the first line of defence against the menace of illicit drugs.
“Today, we emphasize the critical need for synergy between the Nigeria Customs Service and the NDLEA. Together, we form an unyielding front against drug traffickers and their nefarious activities.
“Our collaboration extends beyond this handover; it is a commitment to ongoing cooperation in intelligence sharing, joint operations, and policy alignment. The battle is not for Customs or NDLEA alone; it is a battle for a safer Nigeria, and we stand united,” Adeniyi said.
In his remarks, Gadzama who represented the Chairman of the NDLEA, Buba Marwa, said both agencies were setting the pace on inter-agency cooperation and urged other security agencies to emulate them.
He said, “We will not give room for anyone that would pilfer and recirculate into the society. We will destroy them, I don’t want to set a time but, I am sure within three weeks. If we can curb drug abuse and its menace, we will be reducing criminality in this country by about 40%.”
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