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    Posted March 20, 2014 by
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    One Million Nigerians in Foreign Prison Over Drug Offences—–NDLEA

     

    Some one million Nigerian men and women are said to be serving various prison sentences over illicit drug offences in foreign countries across the world. In Thailand and Indonesia alone, 16 Nigerians might be killed according to the law of these two countries, which prescribe death penalty to trafficking in hard drug. This is contained in the latest suspect’s audit report for the year, 2013, by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). The report which is an annual document by all countries to the United Nations (UN) drug prevention and Eradication Agency, also stated that the number of Nigerians with hard drug-related offences in Chinese prison alone stands at 378, while Nigerians with drug-related cases in United Kingdom prison is put at 481, the report stated. The report was exclusively obtained from a top official of the NDLEA by our correspondent. It was gathered that the fate of all these Nigerians may be in the balance as Nigerian government had said it would no longer appeal for clemency on behalf of any Nigerian found guilty of such offences abroad. The government’s position was announced by the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, at an event to mark the 2013 International Day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Abuja recently. An aide had said while government will continue to support law-abiding Nigerians, drug traffickers will not be assisted by the government because they are fully aware of the consequences of their actions. He advised Nigerians to seek ways of earning an honest living even as the government continues to work towards providing the adequate environment for them to thrive, to avoid falling into that state of hopelessness. The Senate President, David Mark, also recently declared the nation’s upper legislature will not intervene in cases of Nigerians found guilty of criminal activities in foreign countries. He however said that the government would not allow any Nigerian to be unfairly treated in foreign nations. The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the country representative at the United Nations office on drug and crimes, the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, school children and Nigerians drawn from different walks of life were reportedly  present at the event. Although the year under review indicates that 3,028 persons have been arrested for drug trafficking and about 66.273kilograms of illicit drugs confiscated, what has become more worrisome is the increasing level of the use of hard drugs in Nigeria, which is also regarded as a transit country. Experts say there is the need to shift from supply suppression to demand reduction as statistics indicate that the use of hard drugs in Nigeria is growing at an increasing rate. With these alarming statistics, the NDLEA is evolving strategies that will go beyond the enforcement of laws guarding against the abuse and illicit trafficking of drugs to preventive measures that will curtail the urge for use and trading, especially amongst young Nigerians. And for those who dare to traffic these drugs outside the shores of the country, the federal government warns that it will not be drawn into negotiations for clemency on their behalf. Report by Simpa Samsons Simpa Saint Samsons Indipendent film-maker CEO, S.O.S21 Pictures International, Inc Saintonios@yahoo.com

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