Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, said on Sunday that the agency arrested a total of 4,511 suspected drug traffickers and 47,422.678 kilogrammes of narcotic drugs between January and June 2014.
This is contained in a statement by the agency’s spokesman, Mitchell Ofoyeju, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
He said the drugs consisted of 45,875kg of cannabis; 34.79kg of cocaine; 43.953kg of heroin; 22.07kg of methamphetamine and 1,446.865kg of psychotropic substances.
He said, “Within the period under review, a total of 1,157 drug offenders were successfully convicted. Kano State recorded the highest number of convictions for the period, with 111 persons.
“Kaduna is next with 105; Lagos, 75; Bauchi, 73 and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, 72.”
On the deadly Ebola virus in the country, the Chairman said the agency had put in place measures to medically examine suspected drug traffickers, before taking them into custody.
Giade said suspected drug traffickers, including persons who tested positive for the Ebola virus, would not go unpunished.
He said, “All commands of the agency have been directed to carry out compulsory pre-detention screening, to prevent the deadly Ebola virus disease.
“Ebola victims found in possession of narcotic drugs shall not be allowed to go scot-free. I have issued an operational directive on new suspects handling guidelines because of the Ebola virus.
“There must be proper Ebola pre-screening examination before a suspect is detained. So far, we have not had any case of an Ebola virus victim involved in drug trafficking in the country.
“If any drug suspect tests positive for the Ebola virus, he or she shall be handed over to the medical authorities and shall be prosecuted as soon as a clean bill of health is issued.”
The NDLEA chairman said regular washing of hands, use of sanitizers, wearing of hand gloves and other protective materials, were some measures the anti-narcotic agency was taking to protect officers.
He said, “We are compelled to modify our modus operandi because of the Ebola virus disease outbreak. The agency is taking necessary measures to prevent the deadly virus.
“In the past, we only had cause to isolate suspects with airborne diseases like tuberculosis. This ebola virus certainly is a bigger challenge that requires serious attention.”