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NDLEA and the seized fake dollars

A few weeks ago, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced the arrest of some people suspected of trafficking in counterfeit currencies, from whom…

A few weeks ago, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced the arrest of some people suspected of trafficking in counterfeit currencies, from whom fake $4.9 million and CFA57 million were seized. 

For well-meaning citizens, the report of the arrest and seizure was a good development because, had those counterfeits by chance made it into circulation, we could only imagine the number of Nigerians that would lose their hard-earned money.  

Ironically and unfortunately, the reactions of some Nigerians to the news smack of derision and ignorance, hence this intervention to educate them. They, especially young people, were busy on social media, questioning why NDLEA operatives made the seizure since counterfeit money is not, according to them, within the jurisdiction of drug law enforcement.

Some even expressed scepticism about the authenticity of the arrest, claiming that it was staged. Such irrational reactions exposed the hidden apathy and hostility harboured by some Nigerians against law enforcement. 

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I think society needs to school these sceptics that there is nothing wrong with an arm of law enforcement busting crimes that are not directly under its purview.  

Of course, NDLEA made it clear the suspects and the exhibits were transferred to the relevant authority, in this case, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).  

NDLEA had also in the past intercepted human traffickers with the suspects and their victims handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). 

There are a few instances where the agency caught bandits and gun runners with sophisticated weapons and transferred them, suspects and exhibits, to the Nigerian Army. Similarly, there have been reports of Nigeria Customs Service seizing illicit drugs which were then handed over to NDLEA or NAFDAC.  

All of these speak volumes about the existing synergy among law enforcement, security and regulatory bodies.  

It should be noted that the motive of law enforcement is to stop crime first. To those not happy about this synergy: Would they have preferred that NDLEA operatives look the other way and allow those purveyors of fake dollars to go scot-free since they didn’t find any illicit drugs during the check?  

We should look past our cynicism and appreciate law enforcement that works. Lest we forget, our collective security lies in law enforcement prevailing over crime and criminals.  


Blessing Aliyu wrote from Gombi, Adamawa State


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