Following the arrest of three Nigerian Muslim pilgrims by the Saudi Arabian authorities for carrying drugs suspected to be cocaine, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has deployed more investigators to all the screening camps nationwide.
This is just as the chairman of the anti -narcotic agency, Colonel Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd), has ordered investigation into the arrest of three pilgrims in connection with the substances suspected to be cocaine.
Abdallah ,who assured members of the public that NDLEA would get to the root of the matter , listed terms of reference for the panel of inquiry to include; ascertaining the circumstances behind the non-detection of the pilgrims before takeoff, identification of possible sponsors and source of drug supply as well as make recommendations on effective screening of pilgrims.
The chairman of NDLEA, who expressed disappointment over the incident, has constituted a panel of inquiry headed by the Director of Operations and General Investigation in the agency, Mr Olugbenga Mabo ,to investigate the incident, adding that the agency would address the situation with urgency.
“Narcotic smuggling is criminal and the involvement of pilgrims is utterly reprehensible. This is unfortunate and we are working very hard to get to the root of it. The agency is handling this case with every sense of seriousness and urgency because this action has negatively affected the image of Nigeria. We have also taken measures to intensify the ongoing screening of pilgrims, who are yet to depart to Saudi Arabia to prevent a re-occurrence of the incident”.
The NDLEA boss also called on pilgrims to uphold the principle of probity, patriotism and eschew any act capable of bringing the image of the country to disrepute and vowed to take necessary steps aimed at bringing any person or group of persons, involved in the criminal act to justice.