Angry drug hawkers attack NAFDAC officials in Abuja

The Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the mobile police attached to them were on Monday attacked by angry drug hawkers and touts at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The enforcement team of the agency was on a raid of fake, unregistered, and counterfeit drugs at the Area One motor park of the FCT when they were attacked.

While the enforcement exercise was ongoing, the hawkers and touts at the park began to throw stones and other dangerous objects at the team and journalists.

It took the intervention of the mobile police who threw tear gas and shot sporadically into the air to disperse them while the enforcement team and journalists escaped from the park.

However, two of the vehicles belonging to NAFDAC were vandalised.

Speaking with journalists after the raid, the Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, Federal Task Force, NAFDAC, Umar Suleiman said the raid followed intelligence from the Department of State Security on the activities of drug hawkers at the motor park.

Suleiman said, “This exercise that we just conducted at the Area 1 motor park was a result of the intelligence we received from the DSS since last year, a lot of hawkers were there selling their products and many people patronising them and that was why we raided the park.

The attack is a normal thing for us in the investigation and enforcement department, that is the reason we always go with armed Mopol and Investigating Police Officers in case of any arrest.

“But to my surprise, we had not done half of the work when the drug hawkers absconded but mobilised in full force against us, throwing stones at us and destroying the glasses of the vehicles but with the gunshot and tear gas released on them by the armed Mopol, they soft pedalled and we had to leave the place to reinforce and go back next time.”

Suleiman, who led the team noted that the drugs seized during the raid were worth about N5m.

The enforcement team, he said, confiscated some controlled drugs like Rohypnol, Dizapam, Tramadol (500mg and 225mg), Cocodamol, and aphrodisiac, among others.

Culled from Punch