The Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Femi Oloruntoba revealed at the public hearing organized by the Senate Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, and Health in Abuja, on Monday 26, 2018 that the agency had seized N159 million worth of Tramadol tablets recently.
The Senate hearing was organized to tackle the increasing problem of drug abuse, especially among Nigerian youth.
On why it has been difficult bring such illicit importers of drugs into book, the NDLEA official noted that only the Federal High Court is constitutionally empowered to prosecute offenders, a situation he described as a big challenge.
According to him, since the magistrate court could not prosecute drug cases, the Federal high court is being choked with many cases.
Mr. Oloruntoba, therefore, appealed to Federal Government to increase the number of judges in the Federal High Court to fast-track prosecution of drug-related offences.
Also, the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasi, called for a ‘prescription policy’ to control the drug abuse. Yakasi said “We are trying to draft a prescription policy. If we have this prescription policy, we will know who is doing what.”
He also noted that Nigeria’s border is too permeable, thus allowing for smuggling in of all sorts of drugs.
The Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration, and Control, NAFDAC, Prof. Christiana Adeyeye, explained that the agency lacks the manpower to carry out regular inspection of pharmaceutical companies.
He said there is a need to join efforts to fight drug cases in the country because it is a general problem.