The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has denied the allegation from former Nigerian first lady Patience Jonathan that it is harassing her.
The anti-narcotics agency described the allegation as spurious and misleading, stressing that it had no case against Mrs. Jonathan. The agency emphasized, however, that no individual is above the law.
A statement by Mitchell Ofoyeju, the spokesperson for NDLEA, expressed surprise that the agency could be mentioned in a petition by Mrs. Jonathan when she was not being investigated by the agency.
Mr. Ofoyeju stated that the former first lady, in a petition presented before the House of Representatives by a lawmaker from Rivers State, Mr. Gogo Bright-Tamuno, on behalf of her lawyer, Granville Abibo, purported that the NDLEA and other agencies were constantly harassing her.
He said that the speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the session, admitted the petition and referred it to the Committee on Public Petitions for hearing.
“The NDLEA, as a reputable agency of government, does not harass. Rather, it takes appropriate action against anyone or group of persons who contravene the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2001,” the statement said.
“This is done through painstaking investigation, arrest and prosecution of suspected drug traffickers. All operations are conducted in compliance with the rule of law and global best practices.”
The agency reiterated its commitment to ridding the country of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, adding that it remained committed to the fight against drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse.
Mr. Ofoyeju insisted that the agency would not harass any person or organization, but those who violate the country’s drug laws, no matter their status, would not go unpunished.