National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Edo State command has arrested 86 people, suspected to be trafficking illicit drugs.
Mr Buba Wakawa the Commander of the agency in Edo, told the Newsmen in Benin on Monday that the suspects were arrested between July and September this year.
According to him, the suspects are made up of 61 males, including a Malian and 25 females. Wakawa said that 2, 930 kg of hard drugs were seized within the period and that 46.8 hectares of suspected cannabis farms were also destroyed. The commander said the cannabis farms were estimated to be producing 217,414 kg of cannabis.
However, a breakdown of the seized drugs is cannabis (2,929.6 kg), Tramadol (159 grammes), Swino (four grammes), Vegha (26 grammes), Codeine (29 grammes) and Heroin (20 grammes). He said that the agency had successfully prosecuted one Obiora Nkemokonam, who was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for possessing 20 kg of cannabis.
Wakawa said that two vehicles and two motorcycles had been impounded from suspects in connection with the seizures. He said that 37 drug-dependent people had also been counselled and reunited with their families, while three other people who were currently undergoing rehabilitation.
Wakawa lamented that the drug menace was not showing signs of abatement, calling on stakeholders to strengthen cooperation in the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse.
“Drug seizures in the state are on the increase, while cannabis farms are overwhelming. “Cases of drug abuse are also posing greater challenge daily as more victims are getting trapped in the web of drug abuse. “This calls for greater commitment on our part to resist the activities of drug cartels.’’
He appealed for increased funding and logistics support to the command to enable it to surmount its problems.