Ibrahim Abdul, commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Kano state, says Mohammed Wakili, the state commissioner of police, could be charged to court for “tampering with exhibit”.
Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Abdul accused Wakili of misleading the public when he announced that his men intercepted 303 packs of tramadol last week.
Abdul said the police actually seized “diclofenac”, a pain killer, and not tramadol.
He said the police ought to have reached out to NDLEA when they made the seizure but they decided to “go to the press”.
He said section 3 sub-section 1 (b) of the NDLEA act empowers the agency as the general coordinator of all drugs law in Nigeria.
Abdul added that the police had made a similar mistake in February when it said they announced that they had intercepted tramadol but it turned out that they actually seized anti-malaria and antibiotic drugs.
He argued that while the police is empowered to make arrests, they equally lack power to prosecute drug suspects.
“When Mr Wakili made the arrest, he should have handed over the suspects and the commodity to us before going to address newsmen,” Abdul said.
“It happened in February when he said he arrested two trucks of tramadol. We contacted him to show us the tramadol and said he transferred them to NAFDAC. We went to NAFDAC but only to find that it was just augumentin and anti-malaria drugs.
“One carton of tramadol here in Kano is sold for N16 million and Wakili said he seized two trucks of it. So, if I ask him to produce such drugs and he can not produce it, he can be charged to court for tempering with exhibit.
“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.”
Abdul, however, commended the police for their efforts in combatting the abuse of drugs.
“I must commend them for their commitment to fighting drug and substance abuse. I also commend CP Wakili for his commitment in fighting drug abuse in Kano state,” he said.
“But I will equally draw his attention towards remaining within the purview of the law in discharging his duties.”
Abdul also called on the police to desist from prosecuting the drug cases before magistrate’s court, saying the NDLEA reserves the power power to prosecute before a federal high court.