The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Niger/Kogi Command has handed over 317 blocks of cannabis sativa with an estimated street value of ₦20,605,000 to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Niger State Command, in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Busayo O. Kadejo during the handing over exercise on Tuesday at the Command’s headquarters in Minna, disclosed that the drugs, weighing 253.6kg, were intercepted along the Abuja-Lokoja highway.
According to him, no arrest was made in connection with the seizures, as the culprits escaped before they could be apprehended.
He said: “The Three Hundred and Seventeen (317) packages (Blocks) of compressed cannabis sativa (Marijuana) weighing 253.6kg intercepted along Abuja-Lokoja Highway by one of our patrol teams to the Niger State Commander of NDLEA. The estimated street value of the seized cannabis is Twenty Million, Six Hundred and Five Thousand Naira (₦20,605,000.00) only.
“I must begin by saying that this occasion has evoked a dual feeling of sadness and joy in my heart. First and foremost is the fact that some people are working tirelessly to build this nation while others are engaged in acts that are inimical to the development of the same country.
“I am also glad that due to the diligent application of self to duty, our officers were able to intercept these illicit packages. If the packages had escaped our eyes, they would have helped in the execution and sustenance of crimes such as banditry, kidnapping, thuggery and other social vices”.
The CAC highlighted that it is the responsibility of all and sundry to be at alert and report suspicious activities to Law Enforcement Agencies, stressing its importance even as the general elections draw closer.
Compt. Kadejo, while handing over the drugs to the Commander of the anti-narcotic agency in the state, Barr. Haruna .K. Kwetishe, for further action, said that it is in view of the synergy that exists between the NCS and the NDLEA, as well as with other Security and Law Enforcement Agencies.
Speaking further, the CAC commended Nigerians that have chosen the pursuit of legitimate businesses despite the harrowing economic realities of the moment, reiterating that the Command is committed to combating smuggling activities in its Area of Responsibility and suppress them to the barest minimum.
On his part, the NDLEA Commander, Barr. Kwetishe, who expressed happiness for the seizures, thanked the Command for their effort in the fight against drug trafficking and for also upholding the spirit of inter-agency cooperation.
His words: “I accept this blocks of cannabis with happiness and joy. I’m happy because this will never go back to the society again. From our custody, it will go to destruction; and by that, we have reduced the circulation of these drugs into the society.
“What Customs has done is a clear case of synergy and collaboration between the security agencies. We want to appreciate you for this good job that your men have done. It has really assured us that Nigeria as a country, is a project of everybody, not necessarily the security agencies alone.
“Individuals and even press men, when you stumble on things like this, call the attention of relevant authorities to let them know about what is happening in your environment. By that you have been able to save lives. It’s a collective fight and we must join hands to keep the society safe. On behalf of the Chairman, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), we are grateful”.
He warned that the NDLEA is able and ready to hunt down anybody in Niger State that wants to use drugs to fuel violence, especially in this political season.