Drug War: NDLEA Secures 8,637 Convictions In Five Years | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Drug War: NDLEA Secures 8,637 Convictions In Five Years

Posted: May 13, 2015 at 7:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•As Thailand Arrests Another Nigerian

By Tunde Opeseitan and Abel Orukpe, Lagos


Few weeks after four Nigerians were executed by the Indonesian government for drug offences, another Nigerian, Onyejiekwe Morgan Chinemerem, has been arrested in Thailand for drug related crime.

Both Thailand and Indonesia practice death penalty for drug crime.

This is as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) revealed on Tuesday that it secured the convictions of a total of 8,637 drug offenders in the past five years.

Chinemerem, 29, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in his rented room in Bangkok for allegedly masterminding the sale of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine.

The charges leveled against him include the possession of crystal methamphetamine (31.47g) and cocaine ( 889.63g ) with the intention to sell.

The police, it was disclosed, got tips that Nigerians living on the 9th floor of Building 17 of the HR Residence have been involved in the sale of hard drugs.

They do this by hiring a Thai man, who was identified only as ‘M’ as their courier/delivery boy.

Thus, the police set up a sting operation that involved police informant getting across to M asking him to purchase the crystal meth and cocaine from him.

M then told the Nigerian man that a customer would like to buy 30g of crystal meth and 200g of cocaine for about $14k (almost N3 million).

M led the detectives to the room of the Nigerian man to buy the drugs and it was there the police found two Nigerians in the room.

Once the police identified them, two Nigerians ran out of the room, one fled the scene. Chinemerem was arrested at the stairway and later confessed that he and his friend were responsible for smuggling the drugs to sell mainly using post parcels.

As at press time, the fate of the Nigerian could not be ascertained, but if convicted, he may also face firing squad except on strong intervention of Nigeria and other human rights bodies in the world.

Back home, NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, disclosed that the convictions secured by the agency in the past five years were already serving as a deterrence to drug traffickers.

Giade explained that the agency had maintained an impressive annual average conviction of 1,727 since 2010.

The NDLEA boss attributed the remarkable conviction scorecard to strict adherence to prosecution policy of the agency.

According to him: “NDLEA has one of the highest criminal conviction scorecards among security agencies in the country. In line with our prosecution policy, all arrested drug traffickers are diligently prosecuted. Conviction is a top priority to us because it serves as a punishment to offenders while it also deters many from indulging in drug trafficking.”

Giade stated that in 2010 ,NDLEA secured the conviction of 1,509; in 2011, it was  1,491 and that in 2012, the number of persons convicted rose to 1,718.

The convictions, he said further increased to 1,865 in 2013 and 2,054 in 2014 and that this brought the total number of drug offenders sentenced to various jail terms since 2010 to 8,637.

He added that the agency also investigated and confiscated the assets of drug traffickers.

The NDLEA boss added that the conviction of 2,054 drug offenders in 2014 was a striking improvement over the 1,865 and 1,718 recorded in 2012 and 2013 respectively.