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Why we target assets of drug barons, traffickers – Marwa

The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, on Wednesday, justified the decision of the agency to go after the assets…

The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, on Wednesday, justified the decision of the agency to go after the assets of drug barons and traffickers.

Marwa said this at a news briefing in Abuja to begin the week-long activities to commemorate the 2024 International Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that June 26 every year is set aside to commemorate the day.

NAN also reports that the 2024 World Drug Day (WDD) theme is: “Evidence is Clear, Let Us Invest in Prevention”.

Represented by Mr Shadrach Haruna, the Secretary of the agency, the NDLEA chairman said that the decision was part of ongoing offensive against illicit drugs peddlers and cartels in the industry.

According to him, the offensive against drug cartels and traffickers inaugurated in January 2021, has till date continued to yield the desired result with the arrests and prosecutions of several barons.

He said that in April, two serial traffickers got life imprisonment.

According to him, “our prosecution efforts have continued to achieve successes in courts given the painstaking investigations and diligence in the prosecution of cases.

“Our water tight case preparations are unassailable. This has been further strengthened with our forfeiture regime with the passage of Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA 2022).

“Aside from conviction, the assets of the convicts used as instrumentality of the crime or the proceeds derived from the crime are forfeited to the Federal Government.

“This diligent and painstaking preparation of investigations and prosecutions explains the success of the high conviction rate.”

Speaking on the drug demand reduction efforts of the agency, Marwa said that the flagship programme, War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), was built on the whole of society approach to preventive action against drug abuse.

He said that the approach had been a tremendous success as an effective tool of advocacy for social action and an awareness-driven vehicle.

In his remarks, UNODC Country Deputy Representative, Mr Danilo Campisi, called on the government at all levels and other stakeholders in Nigeria to invest in drug use preventive measures.

Campisi said that this would help to avoid a 40 per cent rise in the population of drug users in the country, especially among the youth.

According to him, projections show that by 2030, there will be a 40 per cent increase in the use of drugs in Africa based on the population of young people.

“This is extremely concerning if we consider that 2030 is only six years away.” (NAN)

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