…debunks NSCDC claim of destroying large Indian Hemp farm in Anambra school
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has debunked the claim of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) of allegedly destroying a large expanse of Indian Hemp Farm at Lake City secondary school Nri, Anaocha local government area of Anambra state. The Agency also warned the NSCDC to stop the drug activities at the back of its office in Anambra state.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps had earlier in the week reported in the media that the operatives of the corps nabbed one Amobi Okafor and destroyed his large Indian hemp cultivation in the school and thereafter claimed that it has declared total war on Indian hemp smokers and other drug bearers
To ascertain the veracity of their claims, the NDLEA on Thursday embarked on a fact-finding mission to the said Indian hemp farm at Lake City secondary school in the company of the suspect.
Upon investigations at the farm, the NDLEA discovered that the NSCDC had purportedly blown the media report out of proportion as evident in the reactions of the state commander Mr. Muhammned Misbahu Idris.
In the course of interrogating the suspect at the farm located by the bank of Agulu Lake, the NDLEA state commander in Anambra, who spoke through the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Charles Odigie, discovered that the suspect planted vegetables and an infinitesimal amount of Cannabis Sativa on the miniature plantation.
Idris maintained that rather than report the nursery Cannabis Sativa the NSCDC saw at the location, he was disappointed that the sister agency reported that it discovered and destroyed a large expanse of Cannabis Sativa farm, stressing that the NDLEA frowned upon such inflammatory reports.
Further interrogation of the suspect at the location, revealed that he smokes Indian hemp and whenever he does it during farm work, seeds from the wraps fall to the ground and germinates. That was the finding of the NDLEA and they discovered about six nursery plants of Cannabis Sativa.
Our correspondent gathered from the NDLEA that the agency has requested that NSCDC should produce the officers that arrested the suspect so as to set the records right but he said it was rather unfortunate that the sister agency has refused to make them available.
The suspect Amobi Okafor who hails from Uruofolo village Nri Anaocha local government area, said he is a welder and a farmer and that the land upon which he does his farmwork is an inheritance from his father.
He said that on 13th February, 2020, he caught one Mathias Ajagu, the gateman of Lake City secondary school Nri, evacuating his palm fronds from his farm in the company of some students.
He pounced on him and thereafter the gateman involved the local vigilance group, who took him to their office and involved the civil defense officials.
Okafor said, “The civil defense people came to my farm and I farm Cannabis Sativa and they took me to their office where I spent five days in their cell. After, they called press men to interview me. That was last week Friday. So on Monday this week, they handed me over to NDLEA.There is no large farm of Indian hemp here. This is the only thing they saw here.”
The NDLEA boss in the state however warned the civil defense corps to know their boundaries and desist from enchroaching into other agency’s area of operation, noting that their actions were an infringement on the fundamental rights of the suspect, having detained him for five days before handing him over to NDLEA.
He said, “NSCDC can only fight drug abuse/trafficking/cultivation etc, only if they partner with the NDLEA. They don’t have the right to parade a drug suspect and should desist from such to avoid a clash with us.
“NDLEA Anambra is very much on ground and functioning. We will never concede our statutory responsibility to the NSCDC.
“NSCDC have their statutory responsibilities, so they should face theirs and not encroach into our own.
“They have failed to produce the arresting/witnessing officers to give us their statement and witness the weighing/testing of the cannabis sativa stem they claimed to be a farm that was recovered in their operation, thereby slowing down further investigation on the case.
“NSCDC should stop the drug activities at the back of their office, where their officers go to smoke, if they are truly committed to the drug war.”