Cablegate: International Narcotics Control Strategy

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

170953Z Dec 04




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 248987

1. Summary

Nigeria remains a major transit route for illicit
trafficking of narcotic drugs. There is evidence that
narcotics transiting Nigerian ports and borders reach
the United States in amounts sufficient to have a
significant effect on United States. However, Nigeria
does not produce any of the narcotic drugs.
Cannabis/marijuana is grown domestically in Nigeria and
is exported to the neighboring West African countries
from where it is exported to Europe. There is a small,
but increasing local narcotics market.

There is overwhelming evidence of Nigeria's strong
commitment to keep narcotics from being transited
through Nigeria and being abused by Nigerians. The
overall result is prevention of narcotics from reaching
markets in other countries.

Nigeria's commitment is demonstrated by the creation of
the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in
1989 and is currently headed by a very energetic and
able Chairman and assisted by qualified personnel in
the 37 commands throughout the country. The government
of Nigeria has also taken steps to fully fund the
agency though this has not been successful. But, the
agency is budgeted for and at least the Government
meets 50% of it. There has been registered success in
Drug Interdiction mostly at the airports though this
still falls short of the overall expectations.
Basically this is due to lack of adequate funding.
Also, the Government established an Academy for NDLEA
cadet and since its establishment, more than 5,000
cadets have been trained. In its fight against illicit
drug trafficking, NDLEA has lost more than 200
personnel in the process. Despite inadequate resources,
NDLEA is still performing an excellent job in drug
interdiction. Nigeria is part to the 1988 UN Drug

11. Status of Country

As mentioned in para.1, Nigeria is not producer of
narcotic drugs but a major drug-transit hub. Heroin and
Cocaine transit Nigeria on their way to neighboring
countries, Southern Africa, Europe and increasingly to
the United States. These drugs originate outside Africa
as demonstrated by the origins of the flights from
which the traffickers are arrested.
Drug interdiction is the sole responsibility of the
NDLEA. However, NDLEA works alongside other agencies
mentioned in the previous report. Heroin and Cocaine
seizures have dominated the NDLEA activities at the
Murtala Mohamed International Airport in Lagos. There
was however a major seizure of 30 kilograms of Cocaine
at the Benin-Nigerian border post in December. This
shows how the drug traffickers keep changing their
tactics upon an improvement in NDLEA's continued
performance of its duties. Trade in and local
consumption of Marijuana has been on the increase in
the year 2004. This is shown by the quantities seized
and the number of arrest made in the year. On the whole
there has been an increase in narcotic drugs business
despite Government efforts to combat illegal
trafficking in drugs.

111. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2004

Policy Initiatives.
The relationship between the U.S government and
Nigerian Agencies has continued to improve. Training
programs, technical assistance and equipment donations
have continued. NDLEA Academy in Jos, Plateau State
received twenty computers and is still targeted in the
next letter of amendment. Other beneficiaries in the
5th Amended Letter of Agreement are EFCC and NPF.

In 2004, NDLEA commenced a systematic implementation of
all various anti-money laundering legislations and
policies. Based on this, five commercial banks have
been investigated and prosecuted for aiding and
abetting money laundering. NDLEA also intensified its
bank inspection operations.
NDLEA continues to lead in the region in the fight
against drug trafficking. It has initiated and
established a permanent secretariat for the Inter-
Governmental Action Task Force Against Money Laundering
in West Africa (GIABA).

Law Enforcement Efforts
In 2004, NDLEA seized 51,022.04 kilograms of cannabis,
92.273 kilograms of cocaine, 53.368 kilograms of heroin
and 198.118 kilograms of psychotropic substances by the
end of October. In the same period, the agency arrested
3,067 drug traffickers and over 98% of them were
successfully prosecuted. The seizures were concentrated
airports, seaports and border posts. NDLEA still
experiences lack of enough personnel to cover all the
entry points.
In the same period, the Nigerian government intensified
its campaign against corruption by going against
serving government officials including state Governors.
President Olusegun Obasanjo has consistently berated
state government officials over misappropriation of
public funds. A case for the review of the Federal
constitution has been made and the immunity clause
under which the governors were hiding is up for review.

Corruption- Corruption is fully entrenched in the
Nigerian society and still remains a significant
barrier to effective narcotics enforcement. It is
systematic and society tends to condone it. The socio-
economic conditions in Nigeria seem to be the root
cause. There is widespread unemployment and the
salaries of Civil servants are meager. The government
often fails to pay salaries on time. The most affected
in this group are the Law Enforcement officers who have
fallen victims of corruption. Several have been
dismissed as a result of being compromised. I effort to
combat corruption, the Nigerian Government, through the
Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act of
2000, established the Independent Corrupt Practices and
Other Related Offences Commission. The Act prohibits
corrupt practices and other related offences;, and also
prescribes punishment for the offences. Under Section
6, the Commission is empowered to receive and
investigate reports of corruption and where
justifiable, prosecute the offenders. It is also
empowered to educate the public on and against bribery,
corruption and other related offences. The commission
in 2004 endeavored to execute its duties despite the
logistical problems it faced. The Commission as
embarked on a public awareness campaign and has so far
taken it to primary and Tertiary institutions. In 2004,
ICPC has investigated and is in the process of
prosecuting high profile Nigerian government officials.
These include Judges, Commissioners, Permanent
Secretaries and Ministers. An attempt by the National

Assembly to repeal the Anti-corruption Act 2001 has
failed. The government is more than committed to the
anti-corruption crusade. There is a proposed
constitutional amendment to remove the immunity of
Governors and currently there is a governor being
investigated for corruption and money laundering. ICPC
also established a training academy. ICPC now boasts of
12 qualified and motivated prosecutors and is now
recruiting private prosecutors to replace the police
prosecutors. It has also established two zonal offices
and expects to open four more offices in 2005. The
government has also appointed two Judges in each of the
37 states to handle corruption cases. The ICOPC budget
was presented to the National Assembly, defended and it
is hoped that the budget will be approved with minor

All cases dealt with by the Commission have no
relationship with Narcotic drugs trafficking. The USG
provided technical assistance to the Commission through
the Bureau of international Narcotics and Law
Enforcement Agency. It was the second phase of the
program and through it the Commission will get
additional training and technical assistance. This
includes a Resident Legal Advisor (RLA). She is
currently in Nigeria on a fact-finding mission and will
be back in March 2005 for six months.
Agreements and Treaties-Nigeria is party to the 1988 UN
Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on
Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and
the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Nigeria ratified the UN Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, and the
Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants. The 1931
U.S-UK Extradition treaty, which was made applicable to
Nigeria in 1935, is the legal basis for U.S extradition
requests. The U.S-Nigeria Mutual Legal Assistance
Treaty (MLAT) that was entered into on January 14 2003
is still in force.

Cultivation /Production-Marijuana/Cannabis is grown all
over Nigeria but it is concentrated in central and
northern states of the country. I t is also grown in
large quantities in Ondo and Delta states. Its market
is concentrated in West Africa and Europe. None is
known to have found its way to the United States. In
the execution of its duties, NDLEA destroyed more than
200,000 hectares of it in 2004.

Drug Flow/Transit-Nigeria remains a conduit for heroin
and Cocaine from Asia and South America respectively.
Interdiction is mainly at the Murtala Mohamed
International Airport in Lagos where NDLEA conducts 100
percent searches on both passengers and luggage. This
has led to the change of routes by traffickers. The use
of Port Harcourt Airport by British Airways has been
identified as a new route in Nigeria. The use of
seaports is still the preferred means because of the
laxity of security at these ports.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction) - As stated in the
2004 report, drug abuse is on the rise in Nigeria. This
is a result of the availability of the drugs on the
local market in Nigeria's large cities. Local
cultivation and use are still big problems in Nigeria.
However, NDLEA has expanded its counter-narcotics
programs to primary and Tertiary institutions. In 2004,
NDLEA improved on its sub-regional operational scheme
and launched a special operation code named "Operation
Tiger". The success of this operation has been
unprecedented. It has led to seizures of substantial
amounts of narcotics and the apprehension of several
drug dealers who have provided valuable information to
the agency.

1V. U.S Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives-The U.S-Nigeria counter narcotics
cooperation did not change in 2004. U.S training
programs, technical assistance and equipment donations
to NDLEA have continued. In 2004, the 2002 Letter of
Agreement signed by the USG and the Government of
Nigeria was amended for the fourth time. The Fourth
amendment provides for additional $ 300,000 for the
modernization of the Nigerian Police Force.

Bilateral Accomplishments - No comment

The Road Ahead
The Nigerian Police force has not been very cooperative
in its dealings with the U.S Government. This has been
manifested in its failure to follow a new recruit
curriculum and a mid-level in-service training program
that were designed by the Department of Justice
advisors to the Nigerian Police Force. The Minister of
Police affairs had also refused to sign the 4th
Amendment to the Letter of Agreement in which the NPF
was the sole beneficially. He later signed when
Washington gave us a deadline. He, however, expressed
his willingness to call all the parties involved in
Police activities to wit IG, Chairman Police Service
commission, his Permanent Secretary and the U.S
mission. He has not done anything on it. The Inspector
of Government (IG) has been a stumbling block in the
operations of the police. According to the Minister of
Police Affairs, the IG has persistently failed to
report to him about the assistance that the U.S
government has been rendering to the police force. A
lot is still desired from the police administration.
The remaining Agencies (NDLEA, ICPC & EFCC) have shown
that they are committed to their work and there are
indicators that they are now effective on the ground.
The progress so far made by them is capable of being
sustained with minimum guidance. The political will to
prevent corruption and tackle drug trafficking is
apparent and this has enabled the agencies to perform
their duties with ease.


© Scoop Media

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