Sometimes last week, the news of how Kano State Commissioner of Police seized some cartons of drugs from Ugolab alleged to be Tramadol broke out by PROFJAYSBLOG and was trending on social media and electronic media.
According to the State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the commission lied by his claim.
Faulting the state Police Commissioner over the arrest of 303 cartons of Ugolab alleged hard drugs, the NDLEA Commander, Dr Ibrahim Abdul, said what the Police have in their custody was rather Diclofenac and not Tramadol as claimed.
Dr Ibrahim Abdul noted that his men had arrested the same drugs sometimes last month and after a laboratory test found them to be things that are not harmful.
In an interview with journalists, the state NDLEA commander, Dr Ibrahim Abdul said the drug was diclofenac, which is a pain killer and not Tramadol that is harmful to health and taken by drug addicts.
According to the NDLEA, CP Wakili should have contacted the agency to verify whether or not the drug was tramadol before going to address journalists.
He explained that section 3 subsection 1 (b) of the NDLEA act provided that the agency is the general coordinator of all drug laws in Nigeria.
The commander revealed that two weeks before the Police made the arrest of the suspected tramadol, his men on patrol seized the same drug at a checkpoint, adding that they had to conduct a forensic test, which revealed that it was diclofenac.
“Even after the result showed it was diclofenac, we had to make further tests in Lagos because the court doesn’t consider our test results unless it is from a certified laboratory,” he said.
Abdul, therefore, argued that the fact that Police have the power to make arrests, as enshrined in section 4 of the Police Service act, it equally lacked power to prosecute drug suspects.
“When CP Wakili made the arrest, he should have handed over the suspects and the commodity to us before going to address newsmen. It happened in February when he said he arrested two trucks of tramadol. We contacted him to show us the tramadol and he said he had transferred them to NAFDAC. We went to NAFDAC only to find out that they were just augmentin and anti-malaria drugs.
”One carton of tramadol here in Kano is sold at N16 million and Wakili said he seized two trucks of it. So, if I asked him to produce such drugs and he could not produce it, then he could be charged to court for tampering with the exhibit,” the Commander warns.
He said no sacred cow in law. Even me, if I commit an offence, they would take me to court and jail me.
“So I call on our sister agencies to deal with us within the confines of the law. I must commend them for their commitment to fighting drug and substance abuse, but that should remain within the law,” he said.
“I also commend CP Wakili for his commitment in fighting drug abuse in Kano State, but I will equally draw his attention towards remaining within the purview of the law in discharging his duties,” he said.
Mr Abdul also called on the police in the state to desist from prosecuting drug cases before the Magistrate Court, while section 3 subsection 1 Q provides that it is only NDLEA that has the power to prosecute before the Federal High Court.