The House of Representatives on Thursday detailed its Committees on Drugs, narcotics and Financial Crimes, Justice and Interior to probe the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over allegation of unlawful release of convicted drug barons.
The panel according to the resolution of the House are to “determine the statistics of all those prosecuted and convicted by the NDLEA from its inception to date and determine where they served their term.
Also, the panel was mandated to “determine the circumstances leading to the unlawful release from lawful custody of the prisons, those persons who have been lawfully convicted and all those who were behind these unlawful and shameful act as contained in the Justice Gilbert Obayan’s committee”.
To this end, the panel was directed by the House “recommend appropriate sanction for those involved in the unlawful act”.
The resolution of the House was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance moved by Honourable Hassan Saleh entitled, “urgent need to investigate 197 NDLEA convicts who are not serving their jail terms in prison”.
Honourable Saleh while moving the motion recalled that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, had set up a committee headed by Justice Gilbert Obayan (rtd) to investigate allegations that 197 person who were convicted for drug related offences were not serving their terms in prison in 2006.
He noted that the report of the committee had showed that, “out of 143 drug convicts for the year 2006, 96 of them were never brought to the prison while another set of 101 drug convicts for the year 2005 were also not taken to he prison, bringing the total to 197.”
He however lamented that the act was undermining the nation’s justice system, especially as it has now become a “common practice for many of our high profile detainees and convicts to pretend that they are ill so that they can be allowed to be taken to hospitals outside the prisons whereas in most cases, they are in the comfort of their homes or in a tastefully furnished hospital wards”.