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N20bn budgetary diversion: Marwa told to expose, prosecute NDLEA officers involved

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Friday urged the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd.), to expose and prosecute corrupt officers in the anti-narcotics agency involved in an alleged diversion of N20 billion budgetary allocation to the agency.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the bad eggs must be flushed out with immediate alacrity for them not to contaminate the many good and diligent officials within the NDLEA.

The group’s statement followed a viral publication on Friday, August 25, 2022, and titled, ‘How NDLEA State Officers Diverted over N20bn Budgetary Allocation, Other Funds’.

The report quoted an anonymous senior officer within the NDLEA alleging that state officers of the agency diverted over N20 billion from budgetary allocations and other funds from donor agencies that were meant to sustain its operations in various states of the federation.

The unnamed official, according to the report, also said about 18 months of Marwa’s appointment as the chairman of the NDLEA, outstanding landmarks had been recorded, including the attraction of over N38 billion for the agency in 2022 for recurrent personnel costs, recurrent overhead cost, and capital expenditure, promotion of over 70 percent workforce, recruitment of 5,000 new cadets, amongst others.

Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The mind-boggling revelations of organised crime within NDLEA must be transparently investigated, and officers involved in those shady deals must be arrested forthwith for prosecution now.

“The alleged diversion of N20bn budgetary funds is not the first of rot that has made it out of the NDLEA. Recall that the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, in February 2022, alleged that some NDLEA officers work in connivance with drug peddlers and had urged the NDLEA boss to immediately arrest officers of the anti-narcotic agency involved in drug crimes with accomplices of the suspended cop, Abba Kyari.

“Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, had in a statement said two arrested drug couriers confirmed that transnational drug barons conspire with NDLEA officers on duty at airports for unhindered clearance.

“HURIWA urges NDLEA chairman, Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd.), to ensure full disclosure in the alleged N20bn graft and other malfeasance.

“The NDLEA boss should ensure those involved in the alleged graft are flushed out because they are pollutants that must never be allowed to contaminate the reinvigorated NDLEA under the former military governor.

“Generally, too, due process, accountability and transparency must be restored within NDLEA operations. There must be no coverups.”

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