The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has secured prosecution and conviction of 1,445 drug traffickers from January to June across the country.
NDLEA spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, stated that the cases were concluded at the Federal High Court.
Babafemi said the process was carried out by the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services of NDLEA with the trial of a total of 11,166 other drug suspects ongoing in court.
According to him, out of the 1,445 convicts, 221 of them are female while the balance of 1,224 are male.
“Of the 11,166 pending cases, 10,626 of them are men while 540 are women.
“The 1,445 convicts and 11,166 suspects who are still facing trial were arrested and charged to court over the seizure of 555,953.70 kilograms of various drugs.
”The drugs which were namely cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, cannabis, tramadol and others were linked to them from January to June 2023, “he said.
Meanwhile, a 34-year-old South American man from Suriname, Dadda Lorenzo was arrested by NDLEA operatives at the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA) Rivers, for drug trafficking.
Babafemi said the suspect was intercepted for bringing into Nigeria, 117 parcels of cocaine.
He said the drugs were concealed in extra-large latex condoms factory packed inside bottles of 100ml body spray.
He also said that the suspected drug trafficker had been convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Babafemi said the suspect claimed to have departed his country, Suriname, located in the North Eastern coast of South America on April 2, 2023 for Sao Paulo, Brazil and from Sao Paulo to Nigeria on Friday April, 7 2023 on board Qatar Airways flight.
He also said the suspect claimed was in search of his long-lost Nigerian father whom he called “Omini”.
According to babafemi, he was arraigned before Justice E.A. Obile of the Federal High Court 2, Port Harcourt on June 1 on two counts of importation and unlawful possession of 9.9kgs cocaine in charge number FHC/PH/181C/23.
The Surinamese however, pleaded guilty to the two-count charge. After the review of the facts of the case on Thursday July 20, he was convicted and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment on both counts without an option of fine.
“In his ruling, Justice Obile declared that “You Dadda Lorenzo is hereby sentenced to 13 years imprisonment without option of fine on Count 1 and Count 2 also. And both shall run concurrently.”
“The trial judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sum of Ninety ($90) United States Dollars and Ten (R$10) Brazilian Real recovered from the convict at the time of his arrest to the Federal Government.
“The court equally refused the application by Lorenzo’s Counsel for him to be deported back to his country. As a result, the convict is now serving his term of imprisonment at the Correctional Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, ” he said.
Our correspondent reports that the successful prosecution and conviction of Lorenzo is one of the 1,445 drug cases concluded across the country from January to June.