The Kano State Police Command and the state’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, office appeared to be on a collision course over the recent interception of 303 cartons of suspected hard drugs in the state.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the state Police Commissioner, Mohammed Wakili, on May 17, disclosed that the command had apprehended some drug traffickers with 303 cartons of suspected tramadol worth about N1 billion.
However, the state NDLEA Commander, Dr Ibrahim Abdul, on Tuesday, faulted the state police commissioner over the action, saying that the drugs seized were Declofenac, which is a pain killer.
While lamenting that the police commissioner had never transferred any intercepted drugs to the state’s command of the drugs law enforcement agency, Mr Abdul said that Mr Wakili should have contacted the agency to verify whether or not the drug was tramadol.
According to Mr Abdul, two weeks before the police said it intercepted the suspected tramadol, his men on patrol had seized similar drug at a check point.
He added that on interception, the agency had to conduct forensic test which revealed that it was the same brand of Declofenac arrested by the Police.
“Even after the result showed it was a Diclofenac, we had to make further tests in Lagos because the court doesn’t consider our test results unless it is from a certified laboratory,” he added.
Mr Abdul, therefore, argued that the fact that Police have the power to make arrests, as enshrined in section 4 of the Police Service act, it equally lacked the power to prosecute drug suspects.
“When CP Wakili made the arrest, he should have handed over the suspects and the commodity to us before going to address newsmen.
“It happened in February when he said he arrested two trucks of tramadol. We contacted him to show us the tramadol and said he transferred them to NAFDAC. We went to NAFDAC but only to find that is just an Augmentin and anti-malaria drugs.
“One carton of tramadol here in Kano is sold at N16 million and Wakili said he seized two trucks of it. So, if I asked him to produce such drugs and he could not produce it, then he could be charged to court for tampering with the exhibit. No sacred cow in law. Even me if I commit an offense, they would take me to court and jail me.
“So, I call on our sister agencies to deal with us within the confines of the law. I must commend them for their commitment to fighting drug and substance abuse,” he said.
“I also commend CP Wakili for his commitment to fighting drug abuse in Kano State. But I will equally draw his attention towards remaining within the purview of the law in discharging his duties,” he said.