A total of 577 drug suspects were arrested by the Lagos and Murtala Muhammed Airport Commands of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in 2015.
The Lagos State Commander of the NDLEA, Aliyu Sule, and his Airport Command counterpart, Garba Ahmadu, spoke with journalists in Lagos on Sunday on the arrests.
According to the commanders, 438 drug suspects were apprehended by the Lagos command, while the airport command apprehended 139 suspects during the period.
Mr. Sule said a total of 7315 kilograms of various drugs was seized by officials of his command during the period.
He said that the breakdown showed that Cannabis accounted for 7313. 06 kilograms, Heroin, 413.5 grams, and Cannabis Sativa, 480 grams.
The state commander, however, noted that there was a drop in the number of arrests made in 2015, compared to previous years.
According to him, the NDLEA Lagos command, between 2011 and 2012, made a seizure of drugs between 10 tonnes and eight tonnes, compared to the seven tonnes in 2015.
Mr. Sule said the decline was as a result of proactive measures put in place by the command to monitor and apprehend drug suspects at their hideouts.
He appealed to Nigerians to cooperate with the NDLEA, pointing out that the war against drug trafficking was a collective responsibility.
On his part, Ahmadu, the NDLEA Airport commander, said out of the 139 suspects apprehended by officers of his command, 119 were male while 20 were female.
Mr. Ahmadu said that the number of suspects arrested in 2014 was 129.
He attributed the increase in 2015 to training of officers and increased awareness that enabled them to uncover tricks used by traffickers.
According to him, the command made a seizure of 590.9 kilograms of illicit drugs in 2015, and had no fewer than 155 cases pending before the Federal High Court.
He said 17 convictions had been recorded.
Mr. Ahmadu said traffickers were arrested concealing drugs in bags, shoes, injections and tomato paste among others.
The commander said the agency was ready to foil the nefarious activities of drug traffickers in order to protect Nigeria’s image.