india: Nigerian drug enforcement agency head to visit India, meet local counterpart


The head of Nigeria’s drug enforcement agency, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) will visit India and meet his counterpart to discuss ways to reduce incidents of involvement of Nigerian nationals in drug trafficking in India, said Nigerian Interior minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Saturday. As many as 798 nigerian nationals have been arrested across India in 2021 for their involvement in drug trafficking, cheating, forgery, foreigners act among other crimes in India. The highest number of cases at 245 was related to drug trafficking, as per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 2021.

NDLEA is headed by Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), OFR. “We regret any one of us involved in crime. My advice to India was that law should take its effect. Whosoever violated the rule of law in India should be dealt with as per the law of the nation. Due process and appropriate trial of whoever is caught in a criminal act in India must be undertaken and let them serve their term,” the Nigerian minister added.

On Friday, Aregbesola held a bilateral meeting with home minister Amit Shah where the two sides discussed issues including political, trade & commerce, defence, capacity building, development partnership, consular issues. “Nigerian Minister appreciated India’s support in all aspects including regional and multilateral fora and fondly recalled Nigerian President Buhari’s defence training in India in 1973,” Shah had tweeted after the meeting. Nigeria also ranks top among the African countries 2021with the highest GDP in Africa.

The interior minister further said that Nigeria on its part will try to reduce such involvements of its nationals in drug trafficking. “On our part, we will try to reduce the incidents of drug trafficking. The capacity building programme between the federal drug law enforcement agencies will help to completely remove and eliminate such developments that would lead to nationals of Nigeria being part of the drug cartel. India is a huge country and arrests are made by State police as well. Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa and most populous.”
On being asked about 16 Indians sailors held in custody by Guinea Navy on the Nigerian authorities request, Aregbesola said the issue was discussed during his meeting with Shah. “We also discussed the Indian sailors who were apprehended recently. I want to assure that we respect India and tender respect to all Indians.” The ship with 26 crew members on board reached Nigeria on August 8 this year to load oil. While sailing out of the terminal the Nigerian authorities accused the crew of oil theft. When the ship entered Guinea’s maritime border, the Guinean Navy stopped the ship at the behest of Nigerian authorities.

The interior minister added that Nigeria is also among one of the countries whose name has been proposed to hold the next edition of the NMFT conference next year. “I will go back to Nigeria and discuss with authorities and will reply within four weeks whether we can hold this conference,” he said.


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