By G9ija

No fewer than 351 suspected illicit drug traffickers were arrested by  Edo Command of  National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in 2021, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Mr Buba Wakawa, State Commander of the Agency said this in an interview with NAN in Benin on Thursday.

Wakawa said that the figure comprises 248 men and 103 women suspects.

He also disclosed that total weight of drugs seized within the period was 26,459.078 Kilograms (approximately 26.5 tonnes).

He told NAN that 16,344 bags of Cannabis Sativa were found in a cluster of four warehouses in Uzebba in Owan West Local Government Area in the state weighing 233,778 Kilo Grammes.

According to him the substances were destroyed at the scene of operation.

He also said nine vehicles and nine motorcycles used in conveying exhibits were also seized.

Also confiscated, according to him, are two pump action actions, one double barrel and one cut-to-size guns used in guarding drug warehouses.

“25 suspected cannabis sativa farms measuring 49.589964 hectares were traced and destroyed.

“In the area of prosecution, our activities were hampered by incessant strikes by the Federal High Courts.

“However, the command secured 23 convictions while 27 cases are still pending before the Fed High Court Benin,” the commander said.

Wakawa told NAN that 180 drug-dependent persons were successfully counseled and re-integrated into the society by the command within the period under review.

“We will vigorously pursue the mandate given by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, retired Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, OFR.

“We solicit the support of well-meaning citizens and call on the public to volunteer information that will assist us in ridding the state of bad eggs”, he said.