By Ibironke Ariyo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would enable the agency contribute to the pool of global criminal data.
This is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, the NDLEA Chiarman, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa said that the MOU would enable the agency access criminal records of 195 countries around the world for its use.
Marwa said drug business was international in scope while the scourge of drug abuse had continued to destroy lives, youths, families and communities.
He stressed that it also fueled criminalities, because perpetrators either consume illicit substances or use its proceeds to fund their nefarious criminal activities.
“As we are after the drug cartels and barons, we are not under the illusion that they won’t be after us, but we are always steps ahead of them.
“This is why all security agencies must collaborate to fight the cartels, whether in Nigeria or anywhere in the world.
“We are therefore happy that the signing of this MoU allows us access, to contribute and benefit from criminal data records of 195 countries globally”, the NDLEA boss said.
Marwa commended the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali for providing good leadership for the Nigeria Police and his commitment to partner with NDLEA in the fight against illicit drugs in Nigeria.
He citied the IGP’s memo to all police formations across the country to always transfer drug cases to NDLEA for investigation and prosecution, as a mark of such collaboration.
Speaking earlier, Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the National Central Bureau and Vice President, Interpol Africa, Garba Umar commended Marwa for transforming the NDLEA.
This, he said, had turned the NDLEA into a ground breaking agency within a short time of his assumption of office.
Umar called for more support for the anti-narcotics agency from all relevant stakeholders, especially security agencies.
He highlighted the significance of the MoU to the success of NDLEA operations and assured of the full support of Interpol at all times.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Marwa signed the MoU on behalf of the agency while AIG Umar, endorsed the document on behalf of Interpol. NAN)