National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has advocated minimum of 15 years, maximum of 25 years, and life sentences for any Nigerian caught dealing in illicit drugs.
Chairman of the agency Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday during the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications team at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the option of fine for drug peddlers and users in Nigeria makes nonsense of the war against the menace.
He further stated that the agency has proposed an amendment to its Act to the National Assembly, to curb the high prevalence of drug abuse in the country as well as serve as a deterrent to perpetrators, which he said has attained an alarming rate.
Marwa recounted a recent judgment in favor of the agency in which a drug dealer, his manager, and three other workers on his cannabis farms were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by a Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State.
He regretted that the judge gave the convicts who had 183.5 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa, charged with conspiracy and cultivation of 22 hectares of cannabis farms, an option of N700,000 fine on all the counts.
He also advocated for parents to test their prospective sons-in-law for drug abuse before giving out their daughters in marriage like they would test to ensure they are HIV/AIDS negative.
Marwa also disclosed that drug traffickers now consult diabolic powers for “lucky days” to move drugs without detection but they still fall into the hands of the agency’s personnel who are now highly motivated to work.
He also said he has signed various partnerships with local and foreign players to curtail the flow of illicit drugs and substances.
The NDLEA boss credited President Muhammadu Buhari as the brain behind its recent successes in the war against illicit drugs and substances.
He said: “It is prudent for me to state upfront that a progress report of the NDLEA should not be taken as an isolated appraisal; rather, it should be taken as an integral part of the anti-drug trafficking thrust of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
He warned that the agency remains determined to comb the nooks and crannies of the country in search of drug barons, to arrest and jail them, based on the provisions of the NDLEA Act.