Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade said that the Agency has put in place measures to medically examine suspected drug traffickers before taking them into custody. The NDLEA boss who made the disclosure in Lagos at the weekend stressed that suspected drug traffickers including persons who test positive for the ebola virus will not go unpunished. All commands of the Agency have been directed to carry out compulsory pre-detention screening to prevent the deadly ebola epidemic.
According to Giade, “ebola victims found in possession of narcotic drugs shall not be allowed to go scot-free. I have issued an operational directive on new suspect handling guidelines because of the ebola virus. There must be proper ebola pre-screening examination before a suspect is detained. So far, we have not had any case of ebola patient involved in drug trafficking in the country. If any drug suspect tests positive for ebola, he or she shall be handed over to the medical authorities and shall be prosecuted as soon as a clean bill of health is issued”.
Regular washing of hands, use of sanitizers, wearing of hand gloves and other protective materials are some measures the anti-narcotic Agency is taking to protect officers and detained drug suspects from getting infected with the ebola virus.
“We are compelled to modify our modus operandi because of the ebola outbreak. The Agency is taking necessary measures to prevent the deadly virus. In the past, we only had cause to isolate suspects with airborne diseases like tuberculosis. This ebola virus certainly is a bigger challenge that requires serious attention” Giade stated.
The Agency between January and June 2014 apprehended 4,511 suspected drug traffickers with 47,422.678kg of narcotic drugs. The drugs consist of 45,875kg of cannabis, 34.79kg of cocaine, 43.953kg of heroin, 22.07kg of methamphetamine and 1,446.865kg of psychotropic substances. Within the period under review, a total of 1,157 drug offenders were successfully convicted. Kano State recorded the highest number of convictions for the period with 111 persons convicted. Kaduna is next with 105, Lagos 75, Bauchi 73 and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja 72.
Ebola: NDLEA Screens Suspects Before Detention – Giade