FG replies Falz over burning of cocaine worth N194bn by NDLEA

Nigerian rapper, Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz, has reacted to the burning of N19bn worth of cocaine by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).


Last week, the agency reported a large scale drug bust carried out in a warehouse located at Ikorodu, Lagos State.


During the operation, 197 billion naira worth of cocaine, which weighed 1.8tonnes was seized, and the suspected drug barons were also arrested.


In a video shared via the agency’s Twitter page on Tuesday, NDLEA showed the seized drugs being set ablaze.


“VIDEO: NDLEA sets ablaze 1.8 tons of cocaine recovered from a warehouse in Ikorodu area of Lagos today, Tuesday 27th September 2022,” the caption read.


Reacting to the news, lawyer turned rapper, Falz, faulted the agency for burning potential evidence before culprits are arraigned before a court of law.

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He asked, “This administration must really think that we are daft sha!! What is this lamba (lie) that the NDLEA is giving with this cocaine seizure saga? Dem dey burn evidence?”


In a release shared by the agency on Tuesday, it was stated that an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos was obtained for the public destruction of the illegal drugs.


At the site of destruction, NDLEA chairman Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) was represented by the agency’s Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Deputy Commander General of Narcotics Sunday Joseph.

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Sunday said out of the 1.8-ton seized, 1, 828 blocks of the cocaine will be crushed and set ablaze while the remnant will be secured for purpose of prosecution of the suspects who were brought to witness the procedure and sign the certificate of destruction.


He further affirmed, “The Agency is proceeding with the prosecution of those arrested in connection with this consignment. On this, the public can rest assured that NDLEA shall pursue the trial to a logical conclusion.”


FG to ‘FALZ’

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said the NDLEA incinerated the N194bn worth of cocaine it seized from a drug racket because it is not a drug dealer and that the substance had no economic value to it.

FG replies Falz over burning of cocaine worth N194bn by NDLEA
FG replies Falz over burning of cocaine worth N194bn by NDLEA

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, explained to State House correspondents shortly after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)


Malami argued that although a small portion of the substance was retained as evidence, the majority were set on fire because the government could not find any other legal use for it.


In what has been adjudged as the highest singular cocaine seizure in the NDLEA’s 32-year history, the anti-narcotics agency from September 18 to 19, 2022, carried out an operation that led to the seizure of 1,855Kg of cocaine (worth N194bn) from an Ikorodu warehouse in Lagos, arresting of five persons in the process.


Asked why the agency resorted to burning, especially when the cocaine could serve as an exhibit in court, the AGF said, “They were burnt because we are not drug dealers, we must ensure that they are eliminated and stopped from circulating in the system. There should be evidence and the evidence is there, accordingly profiled before being destroyed.”


According to him, not all the cargo was destroyed and the government could not have exchanged cocaine for cash as that would also mean trading drugs.

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