Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, has revealed how loopholes in the legal system is being exploited by convicted drug traffickers to evade serving their jail terms.
The NDLEA boss specifically put the number of drug traffickers convicted by the Federal High Court in Lagos but who were aided by a cartel to evade serving their full jail terms at 197.
Mr. Giade made the startling revelation during the public destruction of about 18,791.595 kg of illicit drugs at Ibereko, Badagry area of Lagos State.
He said, “The agency discovered that the criminal act took place between the court and the prison after an accused had been tried and sentenced. The plot was uncovered by the NDLEA when a drug convict who ought to be in prison was re-arrested while attempting to smuggle drugs at the Kano airport.
“A cartel has aided no fewer than 197 convicted drug traffickers to evade serving their full sentences. The police investigated and confirmed my findings that the convicts were left off the hook with the connivance of some court clerks and prison warders”.
Giade appealed to stakeholders to be dutiful in the execution of their responsibilities and shun practices that could undermine the fight against drug trafficking and other criminal acts.
He said, “Drug trafficking is a transnational organised crime capable of undermining global security. This has degenerated in some regions of the world into political and social instability with negative impact on the rule of law, human rights and economic development.
“In some cases, illicit proceeds of opium and cocaine smuggling are used in funding acts of terrorism and insurgency”.
He added that the destroyed drugs were intercepted by anti-narcotic operatives of the agency stationed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and Seme Border Special Area Command.