Senators insist that the drug law enforcement agents must be properly trained

The Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, on Thursday said they would investigate the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for deploying armed recruits without training.

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and 21 others pointed out that 2,000 recruits of the NDLEA were recently deployed all over the country by the agency without training in the use of firearms.

The lawmakers said the law establishing the agency demanded that operatives should be trained in intelligence and weapons handling before deployment. They therefore moved a motion for the withdrawal of such operatives.  

The lawmakers, after considering the motion, directed the committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Anti-Corruption to investigate the matter and ordered NDLEA to withdraw the untrained arms-bearing officers deployed across the country.

“The experiences of the times require that personnel of the agency should not only be trained in basic law enforcement, but be trained and retrained in contemporary drug law enforcement and security management,” the lawmakers noted.

“Nigeria and Nigerians would be at a grave risk in the deployment of untrained persons in a drug law enforcement agency.”

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Anti-Corruption, Senator Victor Law, disclosed that the agency’s operatives had not been trained for the past four years due to lack of funds, adding that the arms used by the agency were obsolete and didn’t have insurance cover.

“The fight against drugs has been left to manual approach in that only two scanning machines are in the country; one in Lagos and one in Kano,” he said.

However, George Sekibo argued that lack of funding for training was not an excuse for deploying officials of the agency without adequate training.

“It is during training that values and the rules of the organisation are passed on to the people. They have to be properly funded to carry out their roles,” he said.

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