The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has urged the Federal Government to set up special courts to handle drug-related cases in the country.
Femi Oloruntoba, the agency’s Director of Technical Services, told a Senate Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health on Monday that only the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to try drug cases, which he described as “a challenge”. He said there were laws in the country guiding the use of drugs like Tramadol and Cocaine, but lacked the necessary enforcement.
“In 2016, about 31 different substances were abused in Nigeria. The cases could not be prosecuted in magistrate court, most of the time the Federal High Court was choked and a lot of cases are not moving,” he said.
Oloruntoba further revealed that the NDLEA seized 159 million tablets of Tramadol at Apapa Port in Lagos on Monday. He also said 50 tonnes of the substance were recently destroyed by the agency in Kano.
Joshua Lidani, Chairman of the committee, said the use of illicit drugs, trafficking and drugs abuse, particularly by youths and women in Nigeria is worrisome.
“This calls for concern and urgent action to stem the tide. It behoves stakeholders to strengthen and redouble our efforts to tame it, and where possible, strengthen the capacity of agencies charged with the responsibility of enforcing relevant laws to enable them to discharge their responsibilities effectively,” he stated.
Earlier, Ahmed Yakasai, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, had called for the drafting of a prescription policy to curb drug abuse in the country.