No fewer than 244 suspects have been arrested and a total of 21 convicted for drug related offences between July 2020 and June 2021, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Akwa Ibom State has disclosed.
The State Commander, Mrs. Obot Bassey, made the disclosure during a Press Briefing to mark the “International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2021” in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital on Monday.
Obot said that of the 244 suspects arrested, 214 were male suspects while 30 were female who were involved in various drug offences.
She disclosed further that, apart from the 21 convicted, 23 cases were pending and under prosecution at different stages in courts.
The State Commander added that a total of 600kg of drugs were seized during the period and these included: Cannabis Sativa, Cocaine, Heroin and Psychotropic substances.
She urged that efforts must be prioritised to sensitise and create awareness on the devastating consequences of drug abuse and Illicit trafficking on the youth and the society.
“The data for the year under review shows that there is an increase in the number of seizures recorded as compared to 562kg of drugs seized between July 2019 and June 2020,” she said.
Obot called on youths to desist from using drugs, stressing that the consequences of drug abuse could be devastating and damaging to the body organs.
She added that the impact of illicit trafficking was severe and could lead to systemic crimes and violence in the society.
She said: “The consequences of drug abuse come in various ways. They may be in the form of physical consequences such as health challenges, organ damage or failures, injuries due to accidents, mental challenges due to depression and other psychological dysfunctions.
“The impacts of illicit trafficking are severe. It may lead to systemic crime and violence becoming endemic in affected countries. Traffickers may also attempt to corrupt public officials to protect them from the law.”
Bassey however appealed to all Akwa Ibom people to remain drug free to derive optimal health, safety and security for sustained growth of socio economic development and general wellbeing.
She commended the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for donating a brand new Hilux vehicle to support the agency.
She also thanked other partners for their contributions.