NDLEA arrests 153 drug dealers in Rivers
• Thursday, Jun 26, 2008
No fewer than 153 persons have been arrested by men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Rivers State over drug-related offences between January this year and now.
Out of this number, 12 are females while 141 are males.
The Rivers State Commander of the agency, Mr Eigege Adamu disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt during a press conference marking this year’s United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The state commander also stated that his command seized a total of 206.053 kgs of hard drugs made up of 73.8 grams of cocaine, 26 grms of heroin and 205.652kgs of cannabis sativa, also known as Indian Hemp, from various drug dealers during the period under review.
Adamu further revealed that the agency had, within the period, convicted a total of 25 persons to various jail terms for drug-related offences, with 85 cases pending at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, while other cases were still being investigated by the agency.
He explained that Indian Hemp remains the most prevalent drug of abuse in Rivers State because it is locally produced, stressing that the presence of all sorts of hard drugs in the state was as a result of its shifting population due to its strategic position in the nation’s economy.
Though, he said, the agency has never in recent time discovered any drug farm in Rivers, but regretted that the proximity of the state to Delta State, a state the commander described as one of the states with notoriety for cannabis production, renders the latter vulnerable.
Linking hard drugs to most crimes in the state, Mr Adamu said for the agency to adequately wage total war on drug dealers, there was the urgent need for collaborative efforts with individuals, groups and organisations.
He warned that to accommodate dealers or consumers of hard drugs within one’s neighbourhood was to attract all sorts of criminal activities around oneself.
He noted that out of every ten violent crimes committed, hard drugs serve as precursor for eight, and urged all to join hands with the drug agency in the fight against hard drugs.
The theme of this year’s celebration is, “Do drugs control your life? Your life, your community, no place for drugs”.
“This cannot come at a better time than this when the country, and indeed, Rivers State is in dire need of security of lives and property. The theme for this year’s celebration is a clarion call for us all to join strength together and say no to hard drugs and their attendant consequences,” he stated.
The emphasis, according to the Commander is on the cultivation and production of cannabis sativa.
Mr Adamu regretted that the landscape of Rivers State was dotted with sundry criminal activities such as armed robbery, cultism, rape, political thuggery and hostage taking, all leading to wanton destruction of lives and property, and beckoned on all to save the state from drug – induced crimes.
The agency paraded 42 suspects, among whom, was one Josephine Stephen, a woman who operates a restaurant and who was allegedly arrested with 100 grams of cannabis sativa, a revolver pistol and some rounds of live ammunition.
Our correspondent further reports that June 26 every year is set aside by the United Nations to assess global threats and trends in illicit drug production, distribution and abuse with the view of finding enduring solution to the menace.
Meanwhile, tomorrow, is the main day for the celebration, and events would commence at 10am at the Rivers State College of Health Technology in Port Harcourt.
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