The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), has strongly advocated the removal of the option of fine for convicted drug offenders from the agency’s Act.
The NDLEA Act is currently undergoing amendment in the National Assembly, and Gen. Marwa believes that expunging the option of fine for drug offenders would strengthen the deterrence from drug related crimes.
He stated this in his remarks, while defending the 2022 NDLEA budget proposal before the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, chaired by Senator Hezekiah Dimka.
In a statement by the NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, yesterday, Gen. Marwa said though he had visited the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho, on the issue of ridiculous options of fine given to some drug traffickers, the removal of the clause which allows judges use discretionary powers to give options of fine would resolve the jigsaw.
While defending the N38.1 billion 2022 budget proposal, the NDLEA boss noted that while the allocation may not solve all the problems facing the agency, it is a great improvement on the previous budgets.
“And as such, we want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the Finance Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the leadership of the National Assembly and this esteemed Committee on Drugs and Narcotics for giving us all the support we need to make the progress being talked about today”, he stated.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Hezekiah Dimka, congratulated Gen. Marwa “for the successes recorded by the agency since his assumption of office”, adding that “there is no doubt that his approach and manner of operations to the fight against drug trafficking and abuse on our shores is extraordinary.”