The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Borno State says it has been unable to prosecute 544 suspected drug dealers arrested in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state Commandant of the agency, Icha Joseph, stated this during a news conference in Maiduguri on Saturday.
Mr Joseph said during the lockdown in 2020, the courts were not open at all and as a result, many cases are still pending at the Federal High Court Maiduguri.
A total of 16, 904.313kg of illicit drugs were seized last year, the largest seizure ever recorded in a northern state.
According to Mr Joseph, the quantum of drugs mopped up in the state indicates that there was a nexus between hard drugs and insurgency.
The recent clash between drug dealers and the military leading to loss of lives in Barka Da Zuwa, a known black spot at the metropolis has now necessitated a synergy among law enforcement outfits.
“There is a lot of armed personnel from various services that hibernate in that environment and because of that they gather and use drugs,” he said.
“Our first attempt to raid the place in 2020 was met with violence, our vehicles were destroyed our officers were injured. We have now developed a synergy with the Nigerian Army whereby the GOC supports us with troops during raiding.”