By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Akwa Ibom Command said it has convicted 21 suspects over various drug offences with 23 cases still pending in courts within the last 12 months in the state.
The State Commander of NDLEA, Mrs Obot Bassey who disclosed this in Uyo on Monday, said that the number were among 244 suspects arrested within the period.
Bassey spoke during an event marking the International Day aygainst Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2021 in the state.
She said that apart from the 21 convictions secured, 23 cases were still pending and were under going prosecution at different stages in Courts.
She added that a total of 600kg of drugs were siezed during the period, which included; Cannabis sativa, Cocaine, Heroin and Psychotropic substances.
The Commander said that efforts must be prioritised to sensitise and create awareness on the davastating consequences of drug abuse and Illicit trafficking on youths and society.
“The data for the year under review shows that there is an increase in the number of seizures recorded as compared to 562kg of drug siezed between July 2019 and June 2020,” she said.
Obot called on youth to desist from using drug, stressing that the consequences of drug abuse could be devastating and damaging to the body organs.
She added that impacts of illicit trafficking were severe and could lead to systemic crimes and violence in the society.
“The consequence of drug abuse comes in various ways. They may be in the form of physical consequences such as health challenges, organ damage or failures, injuries due to accidents, mental challenges due to depression and other psychological dysfunctions.
“The impacts of illicit trafficking are severe. It may lead to systemic crime and violence becoming endemic in affected countries. Traffickers may also attempt to corrupt public officials to protect them from the law, ” Obot said.
The Commander appealed to Akwa Ibom people to remain drug free to derive optimal health, safety and security for sustained growth of socio economic development and general wellbeing.
She commended the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for a donation of a brand new Hilux vehicle to support the agency and other partners for their contributions.