“As far as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) in Nigeria is concerned, cannabis remains an illicit substance. The Agency shall always canvass against its cultivation, possession, trafficking and sales, and use. And offenders will face the wrath of the law”, and, if I may add, our conviction rate is 90% successful.”
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) made this pronouncement in Akure, Ondo State capital, while speaking as a guest speaker at a Public Lecture organized by the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi. Marwa declared Nigeria’s stance on Cannabis, just as a Federal High Court in Benin, Edo State sentenced a major drug dealer, Mike Omoarukhe, his Manager and three other workers to 75years imprisonment over possession of Cannabis.
They were charged to court in July by NDLEA over possession of 183.5 kilograms of cannabis sativa, and conspiracy to possess, cultivate and cultivation of 22 hectares of cannabis farms.
Delivering his judgement on Thursday, October 14th, Justice A.C. Obiozor sentenced the defendants to 15 years on each of the 5 counts, bringing the total years of imprisonment to 75years,which will run concurrently. The Judge however gave the convicts an option of Seven hundred thousand fine on all the counts.
In his reaction, the NDLEA Boss, Gen. Buba Marwa vowed to immediately appeal against the option of 700,000 naira fine.
Marwa who had stated Nigeria’s stance of no to cannabis sativa legalization at the Akure Public Lecture said the proponents of yes, cannot have their way under the prevailing security situation in Nigeria.
He pointed out that , “Of all the known illicit substances, Cannabis sativa is the only one that is native to Nigeria and it is the most abused of all illicit drugs, and from the findings of the National drug Survey of 2018, cannabis is becoming a national albatross” , Warning that the population of Nigerians hooked on cannabis alone is more than the population of countries like Portugal, Greece or the Republic of Benin. He said as such the nation cannot afford to toy with the grim reality of the danger of legalizing cannabis .