By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
As the United Nations Organization (UN) marks International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, the Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs on Friday destroyed seized cannabis valued at N1, 002,050,000 in Lagos, as part of its anti smuggling activities.
Controller of the Command, Olugboyega Peters who administered the destruction in Badagry disclosed that the seizure is the highest single haul of cannabis in the history of the service.
According to him,the seizure was made following intelligence in Agaja Beach area of the state.
Peters said aside being in contravention of extant laws, the importation is capable of causing adverse effects on its consumers including a breakdown of the central nervous system.
He added that abuse of such drugs could lead to increase in violent and other crimes that are inimical to the growth of the society.
According to him, Cannabis Sativa, also called Indian Hemp, is not a prohibited drugs but a substance under control
“The seizure of this Cannabis Sativa was made on April 21,2020. It is classified in schedule 2, Section 2 under vegetable products of page 34 of the ECOWAS Commo External Tariff (CET), Harmonised System Code 0602 9000 of 5 percent duty rate and 7.5 Value Added Tax (VAT).
“The seizure was based on credible intelligence. The smugglers on sighting our officers abandoned their consignment and jumped into the water, a terrain they know so much.
“Our patrol officers had to hire boats from fishermen who were fishing nearby. They were 10 in number who arrived our base in Ibafon area of Lagos
“This unprecedented seizure of cannabis is of the highest quality as research says it is the biggest catch of a single item of cannabis ever seized in the history of the Nigeria Customs Service”
Peters also lauded the cooperation of various security agencies like the Nigerian Army, Navy,Policw and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the fight against illegalities and all forms of snuggling.
Also speaking at the event, Dalha Cheidi Wada, Customs Area Controller of Seme Border sued for compliance with the law by all citizens.
He also reiterated the service commitment to sustain and increase it’s tempo of anti smuggling activities even in the face of partial closure of some border stations in the country.
Charman of Badagry West Local Government, Hon Benu Joseph commended the customs for preventing such huge amount of drugs from entering the country.
He advised youths to avoid peer pressure by cooperating with security agencies and volunteering information that will lead to crime detection and prevention
After setting the drugs on fire, Representatives of NDLEA, NAFDAC, Police and others jointly signed the certificate of destruction of the seizure.