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Nigerian Customs Authorities Seize Nearly 600 Pounds of Weed

A patrol intercepted almost 600 pounds worth of cannabis on a main road in Nigeria, Customs Authorities in Nigeria reported this week. The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) seized 317 packages containing 263.6 kg (more than 581 lbs) of illegal marijuana on Tuesday, according to Busayo Kadejo (Niger/Kogi Comptroller). 

The cannabis was then handed to Haruna Kwetishe (Niger State Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency) in Minna. 

A patrol of the Customs Service Area Command along the busy road between the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lokoja found the marijuana. Kadejo noticed that the suspected cannabis smugglers were at large after they abandoned the truck with the marijuana.

Nigerian law makes marijuana illegal. The penalties for possessing cannabis range from 12 years in jail to life imprisonment for trafficking large amounts of drugs. However, there is no danger in cannabis, which is a popular illegal drug. Nigeria is the biggest producer of marijuana in West Africa.

Kadejo expressed gratitude to the customs officers who seized the marijuana after the discovery. However, he noted that illicit drugs had become deeply entrenched in Nigerian society.

“This occasion has come with a dual feeling and sadness and joy in my heart. First and foremost is the fact that some people are working tirelessly to build this nation while others are engaged in acts that are inimical to the development of the same country,” said Kadejo. “I am glad that due to the diligent application of self to duty, our officials were able to intercept these illicit packages. If the packages had escaped our eyes, they would have helped in the execution and sustenance of crimes such as banditry, kidnapping, thuggery and other social services.”

Suspected Smugglers on the Run

Kadejo alerted residents of the region to their presence by noting that suspected cannabis smugglers had fled and fled the truck after it was stopped at customs. Kadejo also stated that NCS was determined to end the activities of cannabis smugglers.

“I strongly feel it is important that as the general elections are drawing closer, it is the responsibility of all and sundry to be at alert and report suspicious activities to law enforcement agencies,” Kadejo said. 

The local comptroller noted that he had received the approval of the Comptroller General of the Customs to transfer the seized cannabis to the Niger state command of the NDLEA, adding that “this shows the synergy that exists between the Nigeria Customs Service and the NDLEA.”

Kwetishe accepted the confiscated cannabis and expressed gratitude to the customs agency. He also stated that marijuana would be destroyed in order not for it to go on the illegal market.

“What the Customs has done is a clear case of synergy between the security agencies. It is a great job that the Customs have done,” said Kwetishe. “It has reassured us that Nigeria as a country is a project for everybody not necessarily for the security agencies. Anyone with information should call our attention to it and it will save lives.”

The NDLEA commander stated that anyone using marijuana to incentivize young people’s support for upcoming elections, would face jail time until the ballots have been cast.

“We assure the society that we will make Nigeria safe. This is especially true in these times when drugs are being used for ginger thuggery. I want to warn politicians that anybody in Niger state that wants to use drugs in this political era, NDLEA is able and ready to reign you in,” Kwetishe warned. “We will arrest you. It is possible that you will not see the election. We will keep you till after the elections.”