Home News NDLEA  Calls For  inter-agency synergy To Dismantle Drug Smuggling    … as NAGAFF charges Agency on strict discipline of its officers

NDLEA  Calls For  inter-agency synergy To Dismantle Drug Smuggling    … as NAGAFF charges Agency on strict discipline of its officers

by timenews
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Pearl NgwamaThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called on all maritime stakeholders to support inter-agency cooperation, synergy, collaboration, sharing of intelligence and information to dismantle drug smuggling network in the region.

The  Director Seaports Operation, Omolade Faboyede who stated this in her goodwill message in commemoration of the 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking held recently called for  reinforcement and adequate funding for the Agency to enable it combat drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria.
“Criminality in the Gulf of Guinea include maritime piracy, armed robbery, trans-organised crime such as illegal fishing and associated crime such as drug smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, illegal dumping of toxic waste and other sea based crimes.
“Since mid-2000 West Africa has emerged a transit point for trafficking of cocaine from South America to Europe. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that $1.25 billion worth of cocaine passed the region in 2010 alone. Recent drug trafficking has witnessed a massive movement of Cannabis Sativa from Ghana to Nigerian waters at an alarming rate,” she noted.
She explained that there are 200million illicit drug users worldwide and that the number continues  to grow every day while about 190,000 people die as a result every year, stressing that drug trafficking was a threat to human live, national development and security.
Faboyede pointed out  that drug trafficking through the sea has been a security problem for all countries of the region because it involves the movement of large quantity drugs noting that the trafficking of narcotic drugs by sea has virtually become an industry comprising many individual enterprises of varying sizes and organisations.
“It is an attraction for major international criminal organisations and terrorists,” she noted.
In line with this, she said that 26th of June every year was set aside by the United Nations for the celebration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. She announced the theme for this year’s celebration as “Better Knowledge for Better Care” thus the need to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security.
 “The International day celebration is not only to educate on public issues of concern but to mobilise political will and resources to address and to celebrate the reinforced achievements of humanity.
“Drugs are usually concealed in bulk cargoes, containers, cargo of cars, freight vehicles, trailers or coaches, ship hull and speed boats. Smuggling of drugs is possible through vessel without the knowledge of the crew. It is also possible that port staff may be involved.”
The NDLEA Seaports Director further pointed out that drug addicts are paranoia, aggressive, hallucinate, impulsive, with loss of self-control and that their judgements are impaired, adding that the good news was that a drug user can be treated, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society hence and enjoined the maritime stakeholders to endeavour to give their workers and seafarers drug abuse education and treatment for affected staff.
She further noted that drug trafficking tarnishes the image of a country, impacts negatively on the security, economy and the well-being of such country.
She emphasised that it is a tool for terrorism financing, corruption inducement, political instability and undermines economic development, adding that it increases the level of insecurity and drug related crimes.
Faboyede therefore posited that “Nigeria must have the political will to tackle the issue of drug trafficking, the supervising agency; NDLEA must be strengthened and adequately funded to combat drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria.”
In a goodwill message to the Agency, the Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebeonam, charged the Agency to endavour to ensure more discipline among the rank and file of its officers as a paramilitary organisation,
nothing that the NDLEA had achieved many feats that stemmed drug abuse and trafficking in the Country, and  urged them to intensify efforts towards currying the support of the Nigerian people it has committed itself to serve while also improving its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Dr. Aniebonam however advocated the setting up of a Human Rights Desk so that issues of violations of human rights could be addressed  as this would curb the prolonged detention of suspects while calling for the fortifying its Public Relations activities, and improve on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). “Above all, it must cement a formidable rapprochement with Freight Forwarding Associations. This is because more success for the Agency requires credible information and intelligence from members of the public, which can only come when the people see the Agency as their friend.
“NDLEA has been a beacon of hope for the Nation by bringing offenders of its laws to justice, but there is need to critically examine the overzealousness of some of its officers particularly as they relate with arrested persons against the tenets of fundamental human rights.
“We have a situation where suspected drug users/carriers are being treated as if they are already convicted by the court of law. At times people arrested for drug are detained beyond the statutory limits stipulated by the Constitution. This situation of prolonged detention is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.He expressed gratitude to Faboyede, who he said widened the freight practitioners’ scope with regards to psychotropic substances other than cocaine/heroine, hitherto known to the public, and pledged the continued support of NAGAFF to NDLEA.

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