Pubdate: Mon, 22 Jun 2009
Source: This Day (Nigeria)
Copyright: 2009 This Day.



Action Congress (AC) yesterday called for a probe of  National Drug
Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), alleging  that its special role is
being hampered by lack of  internal control and corruption.

In a statement signed by its National Publicity  Secretary, Alhaji Lai
Mohammed, the party noted that  "when we called for a probe of the
Agency in an earlier  statement over the shoddy handling of a huge
cocaine  import from Brazil and activities of a jail evasion  cartel
in the Agency, its Spokesman, Mitchel Ofoyeju,  said we were ignorant
and denied any role by NDLEA or  its staff in the prison evasion scandal.

"However, our investigations have revealed that  National Committee on
the Reform of the NDLEA, set up  by government in 2007, indeed found
some 'linkages  between (NDLEA's) Directorate of Prosecutions, some 
officers of the Directorate of Operations and General  Investigations
and those of Prison Wardens in the case  of drug convicts not found in

"The case leading to this discovery is that of Ejike  Martins,
arrested in Abuja and who ordinarily would  have been tried in Abuja,
was transferred to Lagos on  the orders of Director of Prosecutions
and the then  Director of Operations and Investigation, only for the 
Ejike to be sentenced and not found in prison.

It was later discovered that hundreds of NDLEA convicts  are not in
prison, following the prison audit ordered  by Alhaji Giade.''The
Committee said out of the 143  drug convicts for the year 2006, 96 of
them were never  brought to prison.

Similarly, another 101 drug convicts for the year 2005  were never
brought to the prison, bringing the total  convicts evading jail to
197 within this period.AC said  the Committee was unequivocal in
concluding, after its  investigations, that the ''connivance of the 
Directorate of Prosecutions with convicts who evaded  prison terms
which were properly awarded by the Courts  in Lagos is apparent.

"A good starting point in strengthening the Agency is  to immediately
implement recommendations of the  National Committee for the Reform of
NDLEA,'' AC noted. 
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