The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Akwa Ibom Command, says it has arrested three undergraduates for trafficking in illicit substances suspects to be banned drugs.
The Eket Area Commander of the agency, Mrs Imaette Umoumana, announced this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket.
Umoumana said the suspects were students of Maritime Academy, Oron, Heritage Polytechnic and Covenant University, all in the state.
She said the suspects were arrested when officials of the command raided illegal drug joints in the Eket area.
“We arrested the students at different joints during the holidays and even nursing mothers with babies, who were caught selling substances suspected to be Indian hemp, were also arrested,’’ she said.
She said that all the suspects were arrested through “classified informants’’ and routine surveillance of officers and men of the command.
The commander said that the suspects were arrested in Eket, Nsit Ubium and Etinan local government areas of the state, adding that their cases had been transferred to the state headquarters of the agency.
Umoumana said the command had begun “drug awareness guide’’ for youths and drug dealers in the area, adding that the command was also counselling drug users as a way of rehabilitating them.
“After the counselling, we released them to their families and regularly invite them for continuous counselling.’’
She said the enlightenment programme was to create awareness among the people on the dangers of drug abuse and addiction.
Umoumana also disclosed that two physically-challenged persons were arrested for alleged involvement in trafficking in illicit drug substance in the area.
“A physically challenged man was arrested for cultivating Indian hemp farm in his premises at Esit Eket.’’
The NDLEA boss stated that more than 10 “joints’’ used for smoking illicit substances had been closed down by the command, saying “we carried out intensive raiding in the town and closed down some joints’’.
She, however, expressed regret that some members of the public appeared to be “enemies’’ of the agency by allegedly hampering its operations.
According to her, “when we go for an arrest, some communities will gather to fight us. Instead of appreciating our effort, they will come out and accuse us of spoiling their businesses”.
She, therefore, advised communities to assist the agency with useful information that would enable it to perform its functions effectively. (NAN)