The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said it saved 20 people from the death penalty in Asia by preventing them from smuggling drugs out of Nigeria. This is according to an online publication, Per Second News.
In a statement on Thursday, the agency said since January 2014, 19 Nigerians and a Ghanaian had been arrested in Nigerian airports attempting to smuggle 106,914 kilogrammes of narcotics.
The NDLEA’s chairman, Ahmadu Giade, was quoted to have said “Sixteen of the suspects were apprehended at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos while four others including a Ghanaian were caught at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu.
“Their final destinations are Malaysia, China and Thailand where drug trafficking is punishable by death.” On Tuesday, four Nigerians were among eight people executed by Indonesian authorities over drugrelated offences.
While commiserating with the deceased families, the NDLEA urged relevant authorities to intensify anti-drug abuse campaign efforts.
He condoled with the families of the deceased saying: “I sincerely sympathise with the families of the executed drug convicts.” He said further: “This is a moment of sober reflection on the illicit activities of drug trafficking syndicates.
This brings to the fore the bigger picture of those in foreign prisons, those arrested here and others preparing to smuggle drugs. “It is a wake-up call for stakeholders to step up their counter-narcotics efforts.
Apart from drug trafficking being a criminal act, narcotic smuggling poses a serious threat to public health and safety.”
According to Mr. Giade, the NDLEA had one of the highest criminal convictions in the country, winning 2,054 cases against alleged drug offenders.
He further said: “As we work very hard to reduce cases of illicit drug trafficking, it is imperative for individuals and groups to take steps aimed at preventing their loved ones from getting involved in drug abuse and trafficking.”
The breakdown of the drugs seized from the 20 suspected smugglers showed that 83.08kg was seized at the Lagos airport while 23.834kg was intercepted at the Enugu airport.
The seized drugs included 89.024kg of cannabis, 9.375kg of methamphetamine, 3.450kg of amphetamine, 2.89kg of heroin and 2.175kg of cocaine.
The only Ghanaian among the suspects, Musa Idrisa, also known as Charles Udenehi, was going to Bangkok, Thailand, with 450 grams of cocaine he had ingested.