NDLEA says Customs yet to release 39 containers for inspection
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) was yet to positioned 39 containers suspected to contain illicit drugs for inspection by the agency.
Head of Public Affairs of the agency, Mr Jonah Achema, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that 23 containers out of 62 were recently inspected by the agency at the Apapa Port, Lagos, and in them, 581 million illicit tramadol were discovered.
The agency had said that all the containers had been on its watch-list since November, 2017.
The containers were searched at the port based on NDLEA’s “reasonable suspicion’’ that they contained the drug.
Achema said that after inspection of the 23 containers, the Customs became reluctant to release the remaining 39 containers for NDLEA officials to search.
According to him, the search is yet to resume as NCS is yet to position the remaining suspected containers for search.
“It is the responsibility of the NCS to position the containers for search.
“The agency is like a dog; once it smells a prey, it will not relent until it apprehends the prey itself,” he said
Achema said that it was expected of the agency to continue the search of the remaining containers suspected to contain illicit tramadol.
“Our goal is to ensure that the country is free of drug-related issues. Our concern are the drugs suspected to be inside those containers.
“We can’t do anything now as those containers are yet to be positioned. However, we are on standby and always at alert.’’
Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Joseph Attah, said that there were no issues between both agencies.
According to him, the two organisations of government have been working together to ensure that illicit drugs smuggling was curbed to the barest minimum.
“We have been working together to ensure that these issues are tackled.“It has been addressed and processes are still ongoing. The agencies are looking forward to a society free of drugs,” Attah said.