The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, 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.
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.