National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
The establishment of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) by the promulgation of Decree Number 48 of 1989, now Act of Parliament, was aimed at exterminating illicit drug trafficking and consumption in the Nigerian society. It is a well-known fact that any involvement in drugs, especially their importation, exportation, sale, transfer, purchase, cultivation, manufacture, extraction and possession is universally unacceptable. The establishment of the NDLEA was Nigeria’s deliberate attempt at joining the rest of the world in getting rid of this cankerworm within her borders
NATURE OF THE ACT.
Though the Act does not endorse Capital Punishment, as did Decree No 20 of 1984, it however, aims at rendering offenders financially incapacitated apart from the long period of incarceration ranging from 15 to 25 years and sometimes, life imprisonment for producers and traffickers. Additionally, any organisation that colludes with offenders to perpetrate a drug offence or to conceal proceeds from the illicit drug trade is also liable on conviction to a term of 25 years imprisonment or two million Naira fine.
Other measures adopted in dealing with the drug scourge are contained in National Drug Law Enforcement (Amendment) Decree No 33 of 1990 which prescribes a jail term of five years for persons caught abroad for trafficking in drugs through Nigeria and by so doing bring the name of our great nation into disrepute.
NDLEA apart from enforcing the responsibility of the provision of Decree 48 of 1989 is also responsible for coordinating all drug laws and policies previously conferred on any statutory body in the country including campaign to check the abuse of narcotics and psychotropic substances. Some of these are:
i) The coordination of all drug law and enforcement functions conferred on any person or authority; including Ministers in the Government of the Federation by any such laws;
ii) Adoption of measures to identify, trace, freeze, confiscate or seize proceeds derived from drug related offences or property whose value correspond to such proceeds.
iii) Adoption of measures to eradicate illicit cultivation of narcotic plants and to eliminate illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with a view of reducing human suffering and eliminating financial incentives for illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
iv) Taking such measures, which might require the taking of reasonable precautions to prevent the use of ordinary means of transport for illicit traffic in narcotic drugs including making special arrangement with transport owners and operators.
v) Strengthening and enhancing effective legal means of international cooperation in criminal matters for suppressing international activities of illicit traffic in
vi) Collaborating with governmental and non-governmental bodies, both within and outside Nigeria in carrying out functions wholly or in part analogous to those of the Agency, etc
vii) Taking charge, supervising, controlling, and coordinating all the responsibilities, functions and activities relating to arrest, investigation and prosecution of all offences connected with or relating to illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances notwithstanding any law to the contrary. All drug units under existing institutions dealing with offenders or offences connected or relating to illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances shall relate and be responsible to the Agency in performance of their duties.
SPECIAL POWERS OF THE AGENCY
The Agency has powers:
a. To cause investigation to be conducted as to whether any person has committed an offence under this Decree and
b. With a view of ascertaining whether any person has been involved in offences under this Decree or in the process of such offences to cause investigations to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the Agency that the person’s life-style and properties worth do not match his ostentatious living.
c. For the purpose of inquiring into and ascertaining whether an ;offence under paragraph (h) of sub-section (i) of this section has been committed, the Agency may by notice in writing call upon any one to furnish it within a time specified in the notice, with information, returns, accounts, books or other documents in custody of such persons as the Agency may consider fit and proper in the circumstances.
d. The Agency shall not exercise the power conferred upon it by paragraph (b) of sub-section (i) of this section without first obtaining the approval of the Attorney General of the Federation.
These responsibilities appear vast but it is remarkable that the Agency has within thirteen years of operation, after slight hitches, articulated all these and has been able to put in place necessary and well-grounded strategies to take care of the challenges posed by the assignment. It has also been able within this period to formulate concrete measures aimed at ridding Nigeria of the drug scourge with a view to improving the battered image of the country.
In pursuance of the objectives as contained in the statute establishing the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Agency’s activities are anchored on six functional divisions, namely;
iii. Drug Demand Reduction
iv. Training, Research and Development
v. Assets Laundering and
The giant strides of the Agency in executing its drug supply and demand reduction activities are well acknowledged all over the world, especially by other African countries. This is informed by the fact that Nigeria is party to all the UN International drug conventions and has also entered into bilateral agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance with a number of Drug Consuming and Production countries.
For instance, Nigeria has made progress and achieved some commendable successes in the area of drug control delivery system. The NDLEA has achieved these successes in collaboration and cooperation with some friendly countries. Such countries include USA, Great Britain, South Africa and Thailand.
On the international scene, the untiring efforts and unprecedented enthusiasm exhibited by the leadership in fighting the drug problem, has given assent to various United Nations Conventions, which set out to fight drug abuse and trafficking. Not only this, determined to redeem the image of Nigeria abroad, a lot of agreement were entered into, to formalise cooperation, information dissemination and exchange of technical assistance where necessary.
Realising that the drug problem is more prevalent amongst the youth, the Agency has taken a bold step by carrying the drug war to the doorsteps of this group which the society looks up to as the future leaders of this country, by strengthening the activities of the life clubs formed in all the secondary schools in the country to put in check the cancerous tendencies of the youth. The club is a replica of Boys Scout, Boys Brigade and the likes in functions. Also, in the Universities across the country, Drug Free Clubs, DFC, have been introduced and launched. The reception of the DFC on campuses is very impressive.
Furthermore, the Agency was able to get the Federal Government through the National Education Research and Development Council to approve the inculcation of Drug Abuse Education into the Nigerian School Curricula. Apart from getting all the States of the Federation involved in the drug crusade, all arms of government and relevant Ministries and Parastatals, like Information, Foreign Affairs, Justice as well as Customs and Immigration Services and the Presidency are now very active and prepared to always support and complement the efforts of the Agency.
Address: 4, Shaw Road (Onilegbale Road)
Postal Address: PMB 40004, Falomo Post Office, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Phone: Tel: +234-80-621-999-99