Chairman/chief executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) said the removal of the clause that allows for the option of fine for drug offenders from the agency’s Act currently undergoing amendment in the National Assembly will strengthen the deterrence effect of court prosecution and conviction.
While defending the 2022 NDLEA budget before the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics chaired by Senator Hezekiah Dimka, Marwa said though he had visited the chief judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho, on the issue of ridiculous options of fine given to some drug traffickers, he, however, said the removal of the clause that allows judges use discretionary powers to give options of fine would resolve the jigsaw.
On the N38.1billion 2022 budget, Marwa said while the allocation may not solve all the problems facing the NDLEA, he believes it is a great improvement on the previous budgets.
On the reason for the success recorded so far by the agency, Marwa said, “We want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the finance minister, attorney-general and minister of justice and more importantly, the leadership of the National Assembly and this esteemed committee on drugs and narcotics for giving us all the support we need to make the progress being talked about today.”
Meanwhile, chairman of the committee, Senator Dimka congratulated Marwa “for the successes recorded by the agency since his assumption of office”, adding that “there is no doubt that his approach and manner of operations to the fight against drug trafficking and abuse on our shores is extraordinary.”