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NDLEA arrest 74 drug suspects, secure 10 convictions

"There is no escape for any culprit. I assure you, we will locate and track down anybody who cultivates Indian hemp in his farm,’’ he said.

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) logo.

The Kaduna State Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Wednesday said it arrested 74 suspected drug traffickers and secured 10 convictions in the first quarter of 2016.

The State Commander, Mr Samuel Azige, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.

Azige said that the command also confiscated 313.969 kilograms of Indian hemp, 15,028.171 tones of tramadole (equivalent to seven trailers) and 145.14 liters of cough syrup within the period.

He said that 0.005 kilograms of cocaine and 0.007 kilograms of heroin were also confiscated from the suspects within the period under review.

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"We have equally filed charges against 16 suspects at the Federal High Court for various drug-related offences.

"Also within the period, 13 persons have been referred to us for drug rehabilitation and another 55 for counseling.

"Some of the referrals were from the Nigerian Army, Air Force, the Police and the Directorate of State Security Service, while others are among the suspect we arrested during our routine operations.

"So far, three females have been successfully rehabilitated from drug addiction and discharge from our rehabilitation centre,’’ he said.

Azige said that the command had a target for zero cannabis farm in 2016, adding that all measures were being taken to ensure that nobody cultivated Indian hemp this year.

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The commander called on the youths to desist from cultivating Indian hemp, adding that the command in partnership with the state ministry of agriculture would fish out any farmer who cultivated the weed in his farm.

"We are also working with the Nigerian Custom Service, using their surveillance helicopter, to locate farm where Indian hemp are grown.

"The rainy season is about to set in, and some would be tempted to cultivate India hemp instead of food or cash crops that will earn them good money.

"That Kaduna State Government is doing everything possible to attract investors; it is our duty to ensure that the state is free from drug-related crimes to make the environment conducive for business.

"We will continue to partner with all relevant stakeholders until we rid the state of all kind of drug-related crimes and make Kaduna a safe haven for all.”

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