The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has explained why it set ablaze cocaine worth N194 Billion that was recovered from a warehouse in the Ikorodu area of Lagos days ago.
Naija News reports that the Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa’s led agency a few weeks ago confirmed its operatives seized parcels of cocaine worth N194bn, which weighed 1.8tonnes in a warehouse located at Ikorodu.
It also confirmed the arrest of the suspected drug barons. Subsequently, the agency made a public display of the illicit drugs and set them ablaze.
The development has since generated reactions as many Nigerians doubt if the real drugs were burnt while others condemned the agency for burning evidence.
However, in a statement handed down to newsmen on Wednesday morning, NDLEA said the commission has been able to ensure the conviction of exactly 2,904 drug offenders in the last few months from January 2021.
It noted that since the agency commenced its offensive action against drug traffickers, it has secured record convictions.
“Presently, 2,904 drug offenders are serving various jail terms, while other cases are ongoing in court, which we are confident will end in positive results too,” NDLEA explained.
In the statement, NDLEA chair, Marwa threatened that a more challenging time awaits drug barons and cartels operating in the country if they fail to back out of their illegal trade and embrace legitimate ventures.
Speaking on the Ikorodu cocaine recovery and the action taken, Marwa said: “To the drug underworld, the bust of the syndicate responsible for the cocaine warehoused in Ikorodu is a message to drug cartels that their investments in the illicit drug trade will go up in flames as you are about to witness while they also risk losing their freedom because the present NDLEA is committed to arresting, prosecuting and ensuring the conviction of those involved in illicit drugs. That is not all, we now also go after their assets acquired with the proceeds of the criminal trade.”
The NDLEA boss again said the agency is proceeding with the prosecution of those arrested in connection with this consignment.
Naija News understands that the public destruction of the said recovered drugs was done in the Badagry area of Lagos on Tuesday.
Speaking at the event, NDLEA’s Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Sunday Joseph who represented Marwa, noted that the sheer volume of the drug haul, with street value put at $278, 250,000, equivalent to N194, 775,000,000, speaks volume about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld.
He said that the recent development made it imperative for Nigerians to continue to support NDLEA in the renewed war against illicit drugs, adding that out of the 1.8-ton seizure, one, 828 blocks of cocaine will be crushed and set ablaze. At the same time, the remnant will be secured for the purpose of prosecution of the suspects who were brought to witness the procedure and sign the certificate of destruction.