YBTC News-The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested 88 illicit drug offenders in Sokoto State, out of which three persons were convicted in 2019.
Commandant of the agency in the state, Mr Yakubu Kibo, disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Sokoto.
“Sokoto State Command of NDLEA in 2019 arrested 88 suspects in connection with drug abuse and trafficking.
“The command seized a total of 898. 885 kg which included cannabis sativa or marijuana of 857.267 kg, psychotropic substance of 14.733kg and cough syrup of 24.885kg,” he said.
Kibo, who revealed that the Federal High Court, Sokoto convicted the offenders, said “more convictions are expected this year.”
He, however, said that the absence of the trial judge had halted the ongoing cases.
He said the command was committed to its mandate of fighting drug abuse and illicit trafficking through a chain of activities, comprising supply and remand reductions.
“It also engages in enlightenment campaigns in schools and communities on the bad effects of drugs abuse and consequences of illicit drug businesses in the country.
“The agency arrests, investigates and prosecutes cases of drug-related offences in addition to rehabilitation, sensitisation and reintegration of offenders.
“Drug abuse remains the driving force of perpetrating all forms of crimes,” Kibo said.
He explained that 50 drug addicts were counselled as part of the rehabilitation exercise within the year, stressing that 70 per cent success was recorded on the rehabilitation programmes.
According to him, the agency has 50-person capacity rehabilitation center equipped with computers, sewing machines, including other skill acquisition tools.
He noted that 20 persons were rehabilitated in the center within the period.
He said that rehabilitation process was between three to six months, adding that some parents voluntarily brought their children for rehabilitation.
Kibo said the challenge in rehabilitation programme was that some of the rehabilitated drug addicts sometimes returned to their old habit because they could not cope with the new life.
He said that the agency, therefore, worked in collaboration with Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Kware on cases that needed specialised services during rehabilitation.
The commandant added that the agency also organised series of routine public enlightenment programmes in collaboration with some non-governmental organisations and community-based groups across the state.
He, however, warned people against supporting consumption of illicit drugs, which he described as “serious setback to societal development.”
He also urged parents and community leaders to monitor their children’s associates and whereabouts at all times to address issue of drug abuse. (NAN)