The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Niger/Kogi Area Command, has intercepted 317 packages of compressed cannabis sativa also known as Marijuana, weighing 263.6kg and worth N20.6 million.
The items were intercepted by the patrol teams of the Area Command of the Customs Service along the ever busy Lokoja-Abuja highway.
Handing over the hard drugs to the Niger State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Barrister Haruna Kwetishe, at the Customs headquarters in Minna on Tuesday, the Niger/Kogi Comptroller Busayo Kadejo said that the suspects however escaped and abandoned the illicit drug.
While commending the efforts of the Officers and Men of the Command for the seizure, the Comptroller noted that if the illicit drugs had made its way to the society, it would have helped in the execution and substenance of crimes in the state especially in the face of the forthcoming general elections.
According to him, “This occasion has come with a dual feeling and sadness and joy in my heart. First and foremost is the fact that some people are working tirelessly to build this nation while others are engaged in acts that are inimical to the development of the same country.
“I am glad that due to the diligent application of self to duty, our officials were able to intercept these illicit packages. If the packages had escaped our eyes, they would have helped in the execution and substenance of crimes such as banditry, kidnapping, Thuggery and other social services.”
He disclosed that the suspects escaped and ran into the bush when they were stopped by the customs officials.
Kadejo urged the public to be alert, stressing that the Customs is determined to put the smugglers out of business.
“I strongly feel it is important that as the general elections are drawing closer, it is the responsibility of all and sundry to be at alert and report suspicious activities to law enforcement agencies.
The Comptroller said that he had recieved the approval of the Comptroller General of the Customs to hand over the seized marijuana to the NDLEA, Niger state command, adding that “this shows the synergy that exists between the Nigeria Customs Service and the NDLEA.”
Receiving the seized marijuana, the Niger state Commander of the NDLEA, Barrister Haruna Kwetishe commended the Customs for the great work in the seizure of the drugs, assuring that the seized drugs will be destroyed and will not find it way back to the market.
“What the Customs has done is a clear case of synergy between the security agencies. It is a great job that the Customs have done. It has reassured us that Nigeria as a country is a project for everybody not necessarily for the security agencies. Anyone with information should call our attention to it and it will save lives”.
Kwetishe warned that any politician that is found to be giving out drugs or encouraging the use of drugs to youths during the political campaigns would be locked up until after the general elections.
“We assure the society that we will make Nigeria safe. Particularly in this period where drugs are used to ginger thuggery. I want to warn politicians that anybody in Niger state that wants to use drugs in this political era, NDLEA is able and ready to reign you in.
“We will arrest you. You may not even see the elections. We will keep you till after the elections,” he threatened.