THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said it has won legal suits for the conviction of 8,637 drug offenders in the past five years.
The Chairman of the Agency, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, who said that the convictions will serve as a deterrence to drug traffickers disclosed that the Agency had maintained an impressive annual average conviction of 1,727 since 2010.
The NDLEA boss attributed the remarkable conviction scorecard to strict adherence to prosecution policy of the Agency. “NDLEA has one of the highest criminal conviction scorecards among security agencies in the country.
In line with our prosecution policy, all arrested drug traffickers are diligently prosecuted. Conviction is a top priority to us because it serves as a punishment to offenders while it also deters many from indulging in drug trafficking,” Giade said.
According to the Agency’s chairman, “In 2010, the NDLEA won 1,509 convictions, in 2011, 1,491 while in 2012, the number of persons convicted rose to 1,718.
The convictions further increased to 1,865 in 2013 and 2,054 in 2014. This brings the total number of drug offenders sentenced to various jail terms since 2010 to 8,637.
We also investigate and confiscate the assets of drug traffickers.” The conviction of 2,054 drug offenders in 2014 is a striking improvement over the 1,865 and 1,718 recorded in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
Besides, the sentencing pattern has improved with a drastic decline in the award of options of fine as well as terms of imprisonment below six months.
Some notable convictions include the imprisonment of a Pakistani, Bukhari Syed Wassem to 10 years imprisonment for the importation of 13kg of heroin into Nigeria.
The Federal High Court Lagos sentenced one Lanre Salami to 10 years for dealing in 400 grammes of cannabis. Chukwukelu Sunday Calistus bagged life imprisonment by the Federal High Court Abuja for the importation of 1.59kg of cocaine. Several others like Dominic Fabunmi, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by the Federal High Court Ekiti for unlawful possession of 273.8kg of cannabis.
Similarly, Andrew Nwachukwu got 15 years imprisonment by the Federal High Court Lafia for dealing in 5kg of cannabis while Joseph Moses also got 15 years imprisonment by the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt for dealing in 172.5kg of cannabis.
Onyemachi Remigius was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Federal High Court Lagos for exporting 600 grammes of methamphetamine.
The Court of Appeal, Lagos also affirmed the sentences of two foreigners, Richard Wang and Fung Chu, who were earlier sentenced to 15 years imprisonment each by the Federal High Court Lagos for importing 450.400kg of cocaine imported from Chile.
One Obiora Emmanuel a.k.a Dim Chigozie was sentenced to five years imprisonment for money laundering and made to forfeit the sum of N14 million being proceeds of illicit drugs.