Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, has revealed how 197 convicted drug traffickers manipulated their way out of lawful custody. Giade made the disclosure during the public destruction of 18,791.5953 kilogrammes of illicit drugs at Bereko, Badagry, Lagos.
According to Giade:
The plot was uncovered by NDLEA when a drug convict, who ought to be in prison was re-arrested while attempting to smuggle drugs at the Kano Airport. That was how a cartel that aided 197 convicted drug traffickers to evade serving their sentences was detected by NDLEA. The Police investigated the case and confirmed my findings that 197 drug convicts were left off the hook with the connivance of some court clerks and prison warders.
Statutorily, NDLEA has no business taking care of an accused once the person had been arraigned and remanded in prison custody. The agency discovered that the criminal act took place between the court and the prison after an accused had been sentenced. This is a wake-up call for stakeholders to remain sensitive and prevent any act capable of undermining the criminal justice system. We must continue to discharge our responsibilities without compromise from the time a case is reported to when a convict completes serving the prescribed punishment by the court.
The destroyed drugs weighing 18,791.5953kg, were seized by the NDLEA Lagos State command, Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) command, Seme Border Special Area command and the National headquarters. All cases relating to the destroyed drugs had been heard and disposed by the Federal High Court.