An analysis of united nations conventions on prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: a case study of domestic implementation in nigeria.

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1.1       Background to the Study

As the fear of the holocaust of a world war due to ideological differences subsides; as the cold war which has now and again brought the world to the brink of annihilation through nuclear weapons enters into a welcome détente, the world has found itself grappling with a new type of war caused by a cankerworm which is gradually nibbling at its generation of humanity…this is the effect of narcotic drug abuse and trafficking in countries around the world.[1]


Drug use has been a part of human culture since antiquity[2] . Right from the earliest of time, humans, world over, have depended on the use of drugs for medicinal, recreational and spiritual purposes. For instance, the Bible mentions ‘mandrake’, which is a drug of plant origin.[3] The Bible states that Rachael allowed Leah to sleep with Jacob in exchange for a portion of ‘mandrake’ brought to Leah by Reuben4. This seemingly indecent affair shows just how coveted mandrake is to the ancient people. Again, under Islamic jurisprudence, the use of drugs has always found justification on the basic belief that for every ailment on earth, there is a cure[4] . There has also been the allegation that the ancient Muslim Shi’ite Sect called the Nizari Ismailis, who are also called the Hashshashin or Assassins, may have utilized hashish (a drug derived from cannabis) in their rituals to invoke mystical experiences in their quest for esoteric knowledge[5] .

Medieval Muslim scholars had carried out much experimentation with various drugproducing plants, including the Cannabis plant, which produces ‘hashish’, for the purpose of curing ailments, reducing pain and for other purposes[6] .

It soon became apparent, however, that despite all their perks, some drug producing plants possess a chemical compound known as toxic resin[7] . Toxic resin of drugs can be fatally harmful to the individuals who ingest it. With this discovery, it became necessary for authorities to regulate their use in order to protect the wellbeing of individuals and the society at large. Therefore, even in the olden days, community leaders controlled the use of such plants. In the Muslim world, such drugs are considered primarily as intoxicants due to their psychoactive effect, and therefore, are classified in the same category as alcohol. It is regarded as a sin in Islam for a Muslim to be intoxicated[8] . Hence, drugs are proscribed under Islamic Law as alcohol because they are intoxicants[9] . Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an: O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, stone idols and divination are an abomination of Satan’s handwork.

Avoid (such abominations) that you may prosper[10] .

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in a narration reported by Ibn Umar that: Every intoxicant is Khmar (wine) and every intoxicant is Haraam (unlawful). Whosoever drinks wine in this world and dies whilst consumed in it (unrepentant) will not drink it in the next world[11] .


Based on the effects of drugs, it can be concluded that illicit drugs are intoxicant and are therefore prohibited under Islamic Law. In modern times, law makers began enacting specific laws aimed at preventing and controlling the use of potentially harmful drugs[12] . Initially, the regulation of drug use was a task unilaterally undertaken by individual states. However, the global nature of illicit drug activities such as drug production, consumption and trade, made international law regulation in the area inevitable. A series of events, spanning three different periods in world history, namely, the pre League of Nations era, the League of Nations era and the post League of Nations era, eventually culminated into an extensive regime of international law preventing and controlling harmful drugs which the law regards as illicit. International law regulation of harmful drugs stem from the need to protect individuals in the international community from the adverse effects of drug abuses and to prevent illegitimate profit derived from illicit drug trafficking.[13]

Nigeria has ratified some of these international laws, in the form of the United Nations Conventions against illicit drugs. The process of the domestic implementation of these conventions is carried out with a view to solve the problems of drug addiction and drug trafficking in the country.

However, there is a rise in drug addiction in Nigeria. Some of the drugs commonly abused, such as cough syrup containing codeine, are not proscribed by law. This is because the law, such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act, which is derived from the United Nations Conventions against illicit drugs, does not classify cough syrup as a narcotic drug or a psychotropic substance. The result is that the NDLEA cannot prosecute an individual for such an act. Consequently, the rate of cough syrup abuse increases, leading to the rise of drug abuse in the country. There are other drugs and substances that are commonly abused in the country apart from Indian

Hemp and Cocaine. But the same problem arises in the event that the case gets to the NDLEA for prosecution.

This matter is tied to the fact that, whatever is considered a narcotic drug or a psychotropic substance, is subject to international law definition, interpretation and control[14] . The United Nations Conventions determine what drug is illicit or licit. Therefore, since the Conventions do not classify cough syrup or solution or second die etc, (common drugs and substances abused in Nigeria), the NDLEA finds its power limited as such. It takes a lot for the NDLEA to handle such matters, making it possible for drug abuse to increase in the country.

Therefore, this research will analyse the domestic implementation of the United Nations Conventions against illicit drugs and conclude with findings and recommendations.


1.2       Statement of the Research Problem

The problem that drug abuse and drug trafficking pose to Nigeria is that the consequences are capable of breaking down and ultimately destroying the existence of the society affected. This can happen by undermining the ability of individuals in the society to contribute meaningful efforts for the progress of their community and the nation as a whole. Where the society needs professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, judges, artisans, teachers, etc, so that essential services are rendered for the benefit of everyone, the individuals involved in drug abuse and drug trafficking cannot become any of this because of the problems of addiction.

The problem here also involves the consequences of taking illicit drugs. They are many and they include the following. The first problem of drug abuse in Nigeria is poor academic performance that can cause a student to drop out of school due to drug addiction because the student cannot pay proper attention in class as a result of the effects of intoxication and emotional instability. Secondly, the problem of poor parental and marital responsibility that can cause a parent or spouse to abdicate important duties and lead to the irretrievable breakdown of the family because of coping with illicit drug addiction such as idleness, low sexual libido, low morale and low self-esteem. Thirdly, the problem of poor social responsibility that can cause an individual to resolve to criminal activities that are related to drug abuse such as violent crimes and property related crimes like stealing, cheating, etc, because drug addiction is an expensive habit and drug addicts may resolve to any means to support their addition. These three problems directly affect the individual in the society because they relate to the immediate consequences of drug addiction and its devastation of individual, family and communal life. Since the family is the basic unit of the nation, or as it is said, the state of the nation begins at home, the law will play the role of safeguarding this basic unit of the nation from destruction caused by drug abuse. There is however other problems that contributes to illicit drug activities in the country.

The first is that cultivation of Indian Hemp in Nigeria is on the rise[15] .This is mainly because of the profit involved in the activity. It is a lucrative activity and a huge profit for the farmer involved. It is the main reason why farmers in Nigeria will want to venture into it. Weed, as Indian hemp is popularly called, requires little efforts on the part of the farmer.  The seeds are available from any drug dealer because the hemp is always sold along with the seeds attached. An Indian hemp smoker will have to remove or sieve the seeds from the hemp leaves anytime time he buys it and any farmer can collect the seeds for the sake of cultivation. The farmer needs little or no fertilizer to add nutrient to the soil for healthy harvest because the Indian Hemp plant is rugged. He doesn’t have to keep grooming the plants like other vegetable shrubs such as bitter leaf or Ugu shrubs. The hemp leafs can be picked while the plant remains and continue to produce leafs. It is this leaf that the farmer sells and make much more than his peers make cultivating other legitimate crops. However, the profits derived from the farming of Indian Hemp keeps up the supply of narcotics in the country.

This pervasive effect of illicit drug activities on Nigerian and on the international community at large requires urgent government intervention. The intervention must be on both the domestic and international fronts. This in turn, exposes Nigeria to a plethora of legal difficulties mostly associated with successful domestication and adequate compliance by Nigeria to current objectives and obligations of International instruments, conventions, treaties and norms on prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The conventions as earlier mentioned, provides a framework upon which illicit drug problems can be solved.

This study seeks to explore these challenges in the process of domestication in Nigerian of the body of these international laws and conventions, including, in particular, the inadequate compliance with the following important provisions of international law;

  1. The provisions of Article 3 of the 1988 Convention on Narcotic Drugs[16] whose provisions requires member states to limit the production, cultivation and distribution of narcotic plants except for medical care and scientific pursuit.

The reality on ground in the country today is that narcotic plants, most especially Indian hemp are cultivated nationwide and are increasingly abused by members of the society including public officers, civil servant, security and military personnel, etc. This is because they are readily available. The NDLEA chairman in an interview in the Daily Trust Newspaper mentioned that the rate at which rural farmers were cultivating illicit narcotic plants (Indian hemp) was alarming. He attributed the proliferation of narcotic plant cultivation to poverty and the lucrative profits made there from18. The problem here is that farming of Indian hemp takes place in the rural areas where there are no access roads and minimal presence of the NDLEA and other law enforcement personnel. This makes it difficult for the NDLEA to police rural areas and prevent illicit cultivation of Indian Hemp.

  1. The provision of Article 3(4) of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs requires that illicit drug users be regarded as clinically sick persons that require medical attention, treatment, care and rehabilitation[17] .

There is no provision in the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act or any statute for that matter in Nigeria which classify illicit drug users as anything else but criminal offenders[18] .  This is in clear violation of the international convention to which Nigeria has signed, ratified and supposedly domesticated[19] .

  1. The provisions of the Single Convention of Psychotropic Substances which requires member states to prohibit the advertisement, sale, export and import of psychoactive drugs except for medical care and scientific pursuit. It also requires member states to take any means necessary to curtail the diversion of psychoactive drugs intended for medical care or scientific pursuit to illicit drug activities.

There are a number of medications sold at most pharmaceutical outlets around the country, which contain strong psychoactive ingredients.  The most common are codeine based cough syrup. The existence of such drugs for legitimate sale has contributed to the rise in drug abuse by youth in Nigeria. They ought to be properly regulated and controlled but are not.

  1. The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, requires that member states shall establish a special department for coordinating all illicit drug activities[20] . This special department is the NDLEA in Nigeria by virtue of Section 3 of the NDLEA Act.23

In response to this Convention and that of other pressing demands, the then

Federal Military Government established the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in 1989. Section 3 (1) (b) of the NDLEA Act states that the NDLEA shall have the responsibility for; The coordination of all drug laws and enforcement functions conferred on any person or authority, including the Ministers in the Government of the Federation, by any such laws.

This section of the Act empowers the NDLEA to enforce all drug laws in Nigeria, even if a law confers the power on any authority other than the NDLEA. The aim of this section is to make the NDLEA primarily responsible for combating illicit drug activity in the country. The Nigeria Police Force, along with other law enforcement bodies in the country has limited powers with regards to enforcement of drug laws. Where a suspect is arrested by the police or other law enforcement bodies in Nigeria, they are required to hand over the suspect to the NDLEA for prosecution accordingly.

The aforementioned Convention also required member states to provide the department concerned, with adequate and necessary resources, for the successful implementation of the law. But if the Orosanye report on re-structuring the Federal Civil Service, submitted to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, calling for the overhaul and dismantling of the NDLEA, is to be carried out, the effect would be a clear violation of the 1988 Convention cited earlier. The report suggests that all functions of the NDLEA are to be transferred to the Nigeria Police Force. Unfortunately, the police who were the main Government Agency responsible for the prevention and control of illicit drug activities prior to the establishment of the NDLEA were found to be grossly insufficient and incapable of successfully implementing such a task. The then Federal

Military Government therefore resolved to heed the advice offered by Mr. George Schultz (the USA Secretary of State) to enter a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) with the United States of America for establishing a security agency capable of effectively combating illicit drug activities like the USA Drug Enforcement Agency. Thus, the Nigerian NDLEA was created.

5.The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 which requires member states to enter bilateral treaties including Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty amongst states with a view to strengthen international efforts aimed at combating illicit drug activities[21] .

As a result of this Convention, Nigeria has entered into numerous bilateral and multilateral treaties with various countries of the world[22] . Most of these treaties lay dormant except those subsisting between Nigeria and the United States of America and Nigeria and the United Kingdom[23] . It has been observed that the main cause of this dormancy has been the lack of adequate funding for the necessary operations that can give efficacy to the provisions of the treaty[24] . A number of these treaties require the sharing of information on the activities of suspected drug traffickers. This would translate into intelligence gathering, which is very expensive. And as long as lack of adequate funding remains the norm for Nigeria’s bilateral partnership in efforts aimed at preventing illicit drug activities, the purpose of the treaty would be meaningless.

Another important challenge which this study seeks to investigate, are the problems facing those institutions in Nigeria, such as the NDLEA, the Judiciary and health officials from the Ministry of Health, the National Assembly, etc, who are responsible for the enforcement of laws on the prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and in combating the drug problem in the country.

Finally, this study also seeks to explore the failure of the Nigerian government to ensure and safeguard adequate compensation for injury and loss to innocent individuals resulting from convicted illicit drug offenders. Presently, there is little compensation available to victims of illicit drug crimes under Nigerian criminal law. The failure to adequately compensate such victims contributes immensely to their suffering.

1.2.1 Research Questions

The following Questions will form the basis for which this research will intend to find solutions to:

  1. Why effectively preventing and controlling production, transportation and circulation of narcotic drug and psychotropic substances have not succeeded in Nigeria?
  2. What are the objectives and scope of the United Nations Conventions with regard to the framework for prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances?
  3. What are the obligations contained in the Conventions, which the Government of

Nigeria is required to perform?

  1. How has the Government of Nigeria domesticated and implemented the Conventions and what Government institutions are responsible for implementing them?
  2. What are the issues and challenges hindering the domestic implementation of the Conventions in Nigeria? And what are the modalities for compensation and remedy for victims of crime in Nigeria and whether such forms of compensation and remedy are adequate for victims of narcotic crimes?


1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Research

In view of the problems mentioned above, it is the aim of this research to analyse the conventions and the NDLEA Act controlling narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. And to proffer solutions to these problems with a view to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To analyse the rising drug problem in Nigeria.
  2. To analyse the legal and institutional framework on prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under the United Nations Conventions and under Nigerian Law.
  3. To analyse the problems and challenges in domestic implementation of the conventions relating to the prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria.
  4. To analyse the problems and prospects of compensating victims of illicit drug crimes under Nigerian criminal law and International law.
  5. To make findings and proffer recommendations on how to address the drug problems in Nigeria.


1.4       Scope of the Research

This research is limited to the study on prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under Nigerian and International laws with particular reference to Nigeria’s treaty obligations under the Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol. The 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the United Nations Convention against illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. The research will also cover some provisions of the National Drug

Law Enforcement Agency Act, The Criminal Code, The Penal Code, The

Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015, The English Criminal Justice Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended).

The research will be limited to Nigeria as a country under study and the operation of the laws and treaty agreements will be based on the experience in Nigeria. This is so because narcotic drugs are matters within the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Thus, the application of Federal Laws covers the entire country. It is therefore prudent that the research is based on Nigeria. However, reference may be made to other countries, such as the United States of America because of the role of its Drug Enforcement Agency in the formation and establishment of Nigeria’s NDLEA.


1.5       Justification for the Research

The justification for this research is based on two important issues. The first is the importance of complying with rules and norms of international law, particularly those obligations relating to prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, which affects Nigeria. The second is the importance of enacting laws in

Nigeria that proscribe emerging illicit drugs that are not found under the United Nations Conventions and also laws that grant remedies and compensation for victims of crime in Nigeria, with particular reference to victims of illicit drug trafficking and drug abuses.

This research would therefore make adequate analysis on factors necessitating the need to comply with provisions of international law that have been domesticated in Nigeria on prevention of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and also on the need to establish a commission charged with the responsibility of compensating victims of illicit drug crime and illicit drug related crime in Nigeria.  Adequate recommendations would be made elaborating scenarios of how to achieve this and the dire consequences if these issues continue to be neglected.


1.6       Research Methodology

This research adopts the doctrinal method.  This is because, the doctrinal method which is mainly a theory based research, will enable this researcher to review, refer and improve on the works of authors contained in text books, journals, the internet, etc, with a view to complete a  well conducted research work on illicit drugs. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Annual Reports and the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime (UNODC) Reports will be studied with a view to utilize information on combating drug offences in Nigeria and the world at large.

In the process of conducting this research, the following means will be employed. Materials used for this research are classified into two major relevant categories. They are-

  1. Primary sources. This consist of the following;
    1. Statutes (Local)
    2. Case Law (Local and Foreign)
  • International Instruments( Conventions, Treaty, etc)
  1. Secondary sources. This consist of the following;
    1. Textbooks
    2. Journals and Seminar Papers
  • Newspapers and Magazine
  1. Official Reports, i.e. Annual Reports (NDLEA and UNODC)

The library, Internet and personal contacts are the means used to obtain material for this research.


1.7       Literature Review

The domestic implementation of international law (conventions, treaty, etc.) on the prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria is based upon the obligations, which those international instruments imposed on member states (in this case, Nigeria) and the necessity of complying with the rules contained therein.

These international instruments aim at providing member states with a legal and institutional framework that would collectively (i.e. through the unified efforts of the international community) lead to a successful effort against illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse.  The importance of international law in this area lies in the fact that illicit drug trafficking is a global problem, and it is international law that determines what drug and substance is illicit or licit.[25] This situation equally gives rise to the problems of compensating victims of drug abuses and also the proper preventive and punitive measures against illicit drug trafficking offenders under the law.

In light of the above, some writers in Nigeria and abroad have focused on various aspects of the global drug problem. Drug trafficking is a subject of intense international effort by members of the international community due to its devastating effect as already mentioned, and also as a result of the responsibility placed on the members of the United Nations treaty agreement on drug abuse and drug trafficking under international law. If any such effort at the domestic level by the Government of Nigeria is to succeed, then it must first of all address the causes leading to illicit drug activities.

The first factor causing illicit drug trafficking is the profit involved in it. John Gillis, in the paper ‘Narcotics Abuses Prevention Programmes: What works?’[26] Stated that:

…it is sad, and I don’t want to inspire any entrepreneur drug baron – but it is said that if one had two thousand dollars to invest in heroin, he could expect that amount in street value, to yield a million dollars with the two thousand dollars investment.  If the same two thousand dollar investment were made in the equipment necessary to produce fentanyl (a synthetic drug), the street value will be one billion dollars – a billion dollars![27] .


Thus, very high profits are made from selling any form of narcotic drugs such as Indian hemp or cocaine. It would seem that for more than any other reason, the profits gained in drug trafficking is the major reason causing it.

John did not however make any attempt to provide any form of solution to this problem apart from describing it. The difficulty in making such suggestions is the same difficulty there is in solving it. The reality is that drug trafficking is a lucrative venture. This researcher suggests that the need to make money at all cost by drug traffickers may be a major factor in illicit drug trafficking. Drug traffickers are attracted to the money or profit involved in drug trade. Therefore, tracing the source of drug trafficker’s finances and the financial institutions involved, with a view to confiscate and deny them the illegitimate profit can be a solution to problems of drug trafficking in the world at large.

The second factor causing the spread of illicit drug trade and abuse is the problems of addiction. A first time user of illicit drug may find the feeling unbearable. Others will be hooked from the first experience. Drug addiction is actually a habit of dependence on illicit drugs.  One cannot feel comfortable without having it, constantly and regularly.

The continued desire to use or abuse an illicit drug creates the demand for it. While the drug dealers and peddlers keep on supply and make huge sums of money from it, more innocent individuals fall victim of it and become helpless and hopeless addict to the illicit merchandise. John Gillis stated that as a result of the question -how easy is it to become addicted to drugs? Said that the bottom line on this is that the drugs that are available today are of potency unknown in history, and it’s easy, indeed, to become addicted. He goes further to state that American soldiers in Vietnam were using heroin mainly as stimulants, anti-depressants and generally as pain killer during the war. Studies conducted of the possibility of addiction revealed that if a soldier used heroin more than five times over any period of time, the possibility of addiction is 70%. The study also revealed that any individual who used heroin or medicines containing heroin for more than once a month, the possibility of addiction is also 70%[28] . Using cocaine and its derivative -‘crack’ within ten weeks for up to five times can cause immediate addiction. These two drugs are the only substance till date that most animals (including humans) would choose over food in life threatening starvation. That is to say when a person who has become addicted to them is starving and then offered to choose between food and cocaine or crack, the later would be chosen[29] . The case of Indian hemp is very similar to that of cocaine in that it takes almost the same number of time for an individual to get addicted to it, i.e., used five times in over ten weeks. But it does not cause excessive dependency like cocaine or crack yet it is known to cause neural damage leading to insanity in some users within the first five years of frequent use[30] . This researcher suggest that establishing drug rehabilitation centres where drug users and drug addicts can be treated and counselled will reduce the number of drug users and

hence reduce the demand for illicit drugs.

Two immediate results of the devastating effect of illicit drug trafficking are; firstly, it confers on the traffickers a source of enormous illegitimate wealth and wrongful gains that would further finance illegal drug activities and other illegal ventures such as illegal arms trade and illegal human trafficking[31] . The profits derived from this trade are also used by some rebel groups and armed insurgents to sustain their resistance against the government. Therefore, it is in the interest of the government of any nation, and especially that of Nigeria to prevent drug trafficking in its borders, otherwise, the threat to national security and public safety and morals would be highly endangered. The risk of causing the many unemployed youths to join the trade in an attempt to make quick and easy money is present. Thus, there has to be sufficient ways to solve it.

Secondly, the devastating effect of drug abuse on victims put greater responsibility on the Government to pursue a policy of rehabilitation that can cater for the addicts, and efforts involved must be capable of halting the supply of illicit drugs on the streets and also of sustaining the health of the victims. Already, there is the Polio Vaccination and Eradication Programme going on in Nigeria presently. The aim is to stop the spread of polio. It is therefore very possible that a similar programme on illicit drugs can be initiated in the country along with more drug rehabilitation centres.

But then, how exactly can the drug problem in Nigeria be solved? Writers have made some suggestions in the area as highlighted below.

Mohammed Bello, in the paper ‘Perspective and Strategies in the Control of the

Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance’s[32] stated that; individuals, private organisations and different governments hold different views as to the best way to fight drug trafficking with its attendant phenomena. One school of thought holds that the source of illicit supply of drugs should be eliminated so that supply of those drugs would halt, leading to diminished trafficking. Another school of thought holds that efforts should be focused on the demand of drugs and the market so that once the market is eliminated; there would be no where to traffic illicit drugs. Hethen goes further to describe the process involved in trafficking illicit drugs without necessary stating how it can stopped. The researcher suggests that a concerted effort must combine reducing both supply and demand of illicit drugs, rather than concentrating on a single


However, Oyakhilome Fidelis, in the paper ‘Perspectives and Strategies in the Control of the Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’36 observed that, illicit drug trafficking is a global problem and that this global problem of illicit drugs has led to the conclusion of various treaties with an emphasis on co-operation between sovereign states at the international level. Therefore, for him, the first strategy requires international cooperation by states at all levels of government with their foreign counterparts. This can be done through treaty agreement under international law. Secondly, a strategy is required on public enlightenment and creating awareness on the dangers of illicit drug. This may be done through the medium of seminars, workshops, open lectures and their continual publication on the mass media. The third strategy is to discourage individuals from going into illicit drug activities. The researcher suggests that public enlightenment and creating awareness is done with a view to actually discourage illicit drug trade and abuse, by way of television and radio jingles on the mass media.Oyakhilome further observed that the original objective of the Nigerian


36Oyakhilome, F.E. (1990) ‘Perspectives and Strategies in the Control of the Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p.

citizen in entering the illicit drug business was not for the purpose of consumption, but a consideration for the profit element. The drug trafficker becomes very affluent within few years of illicit drug activities, flooding the country with luxury cars, building expensive mansions in the midst of poverty and squalor of a majority of their kiths and kin’s who are honestly battling against those effects of the dwindling economy. Negatively, this can motivate others to join without caring about the consequences. The fourth strategy is the need to change the individual and national orientation away from a lifestyle of emphasis on materialism and extravagant luxury without the need for legitimate hard work. Oyakhilome[33] is of the opinion that Nigerians got involved in the luxury of materialism and extravagant living habits occasioned by the oil boom from the beginning of the 1970s until the dawn of the 1980s when there were jobs galore. Almost every able bodied person not interested in government appointment had an alternative in business.  He goes further to say that the culture of false affluence thus developed, but this soon turned out to be short lived. The collapse of the oil economy brought in its trail such serious reverse that Nigerians were caught unprepared. The problem of readjustment was one they could not immediately solve. So, alternative means of maintaining the status quo were sought as there were no longer jobs to go round.

Retrenchments instead of appointments become the order of the day in the public sector. Many industries were grounded to a halt and only the petty trader was left to survive. The government was then forced to introduce the Structural Adjustment Programme, but before it had a chance to show positive results, impatient Nigerians looked beyond the frontiers of their nation for quick money-spinning business, no matter how obnoxious, the answer was -amongst others -the illicit drug trade. This researcher finds a striking relation between poverty and the rise in narcotic crimes. Although it is true that the oil boom in the 1970s and 1980s with its subsequent collapse in the mid 1980s caused a sudden palpitation in the nation’s economic heart beat. Its effect on individuals and families across Nigeria was traumatic. A person, who suddenly got rich overnight as a result of the oil boom, buying expensive cars and houses, suddenly struggled to keep the basic meal on the table.  Even the prices of staple food such as rice, cassava, gari, palm oil, etc went up! Not everybody could cope with such social dilemma and those who could qualify sought for appointment in government services. The size of the public service increased many fold in an attempt to solve un-employment in the country, the result of this was the wasteful increase in the public service. Today, the Government of Nigeria is the largest employer of labour in the country with over 65% of wage earners working for the Government[34] . While those who had business skills tried to utilise it by doing something else. The impatient ones mustered their business talent and became the favourite courier of the drug barons. The dexterity of the Nigerian courier in concealment of drugs and his ability to beat law enforcement agents at entry and exit points earned him the notoriety of being the most ingenious and resourceful drug peddler. Oyakhilome39 suggests that at that time, Nigerians were mainly drug couriers and peddlers and so the country was considered a transit state. Again, that the demands for drugs in Nigeria on the other hand can be said to be a fallout of the trafficking business as exportation became more difficult due to intensified law enforcement both in Nigeria and abroad. There was a build up of un-exported drugs, which began to find local markets for domestic consumption. The drug distributor in search of patronage usually begins by offering the substance on a complementary basis for experimentation purposes. By so doing, the gullible youths who succumbs to peer group pressure and at no expense to them at first, gradually develop an addiction which ensnares them to the drug dealers.

The researcher is of the opinion thatOyakhilome[35] that drug trade and abuse started on a wide scale after the collapse of the oil boom in Nigeria is somewhat true. However, this researcher will add that illicit drug activity had been in the country albeit on a lesser scale earlier than the oil boom or its collapse. The colonial administration in Nigeria had passed the Dangerous Drug Ordinance in 1922, even before the oil boom started, making it a crime to cultivate, process, trade and consume illicit drugs (mainly cannabis or Indian hemp). The very nature of the Drug Ordinance reveals that illicit drugs were rife in Nigeria at that time. Again, the returning military personnel of the African contingent under the British forces that fought before and during the Second World War (WWII) were exposed and introduced to all sort of sophistication including drug use. It should be stated here that even heroin abuse developed from addiction by soldiers as a form of pain killer for their injuries sustained on the war front. Cannabis was widely known in parts of Asia including India.  And so the Nigeria contingents that were stationed at Burma (on the Indian subcontinent) came to adopt the use or abuse of Indian hemp[36] . It is widely believed that some of these returning soldiers brought back Indian Hemp seeds, which they planted and which later became the source of most of the Indian hemp abused in Nigeria today42. This researcher is of the opinion that the actual history of illicit drug activity in Nigeria goes back and deeper than what he Oyakhilome Fidelis seeks to assert. While he omits to trace the actual genesis and historical development of drug trade and abuse in Nigeria into colonial era, he also lost the chance to adequately describe other factors that led to illicit drug activity other than the oil boom. The importance of an accurate historical background on Nigeria’s drug problem lies in its ability to reveal how the then colonial administration handled the matter. This would enable stakeholders have an idea of what eventually needs to be done to solve the problem. It is also important to state here that the very first legislation on illicit drugs in Nigeria by the Colonial administration, the Dangerous Drug

Ordinance (Amendment) in 1935-is the basis of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act presently in operation as the pre-eminent statute against illicit drug activities in the country today[37] .

Iyamabo, in the paperPerspectives and Strategies in the Control of the Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances[38] [39] observed that Article 4 of the 1971 SingleConvention on Narcotic Drugs which spells out the general obligation of the parties to the convention requires cooperation by member states in the execution of the provisions of the convention.It also limits exclusively to medical and scientific purpose the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution, trade and possession of drugs. She concluded that the government of Nigeria had given effect as far as possible the intendments of that convention by incorporating their provisions in our domestic law which are to be found in Section 3(1) and (2) of the NDLEA Act. The stringent provisions aimed at tackling laundering, tracing and confiscation of drugs, substances, property and money from traffickers had given effect to that treaty. But Iyamabo has not indicated how successful these stringent measures are especially after so many instances where confiscated drugs and substances are sold by officers of the Agency back to drug peddlers or that money and property that have been confiscated were misappropriated by such officers.  For instance, Oyakhilome who was the first chairman of NDLEA had to be dismissed due to such similar corrupt practices.

Messrs Martin & Hugh, in the paperCombating Drug Trafficking – The UK Experience[40] while sharing the experience of the U.K. Government in combating drug trafficking stated that, firstly, it must be understood and accepted as such that drug trafficking and those involved in it is truly international in scope that many countries are used as transit states for the purpose of transporting drugs and substances to the country of destination. That since transportation of drugs is done by couriers, and then the most reliable approach in combating it is by having well trained law enforcement officers to be stationed at ports where suspected couriers would pass through.  But it is hardly possible for such a simple remedy to apply in Nigeria. Firstly, no matter how well trained an officer of the NDLEA is, whenever an offer of millions is made to him or them so that they can turn a blind eye  to enable couriers to pass on as the high rate of poverty in the nation makes it likely that the officers will be susceptible to bribery and corruption.  Secondly, Nigeria has over two thousands porous borders[41] which have no security presence and so it is very easy for couriers who are aware of them to bring in or take out drugs. This dissertation would make recommendations on how such problems can be prevented and controlled.

Emafo Phillip, in the paper ‘Drug Regulation and Social Policy’[42] suggested that apart from narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances presently under legal control, other substances which are essentially drugs have notoriously grown to be socially accepted with very dire consequences for the society.  He cited tobacco (cigarette) and alcohol as two types of drugs that ordinarily deserve to be made illegal, arguing that they have as much contributed to the devastation of health as cocaine or Indian hemp.  He concluded that if the law can take a bold step in making them illicit, the society would be protected from such terminal sickness as cancer, and liver cirrhosis.  Although this position is a good and prudent one, it would only ignite a debate on what extent should the law regulate human conduct? The researcher finds that the use of alcohol has been with almost all human societies since antiquity. When should the law prohibit a society acceptable culture?  But even if alcohol is banned, can it be properly enforced and will the ban be socially observed? The same goes for tobacco, which is seen as a past time or a harmless vice (although it is medically harmful).  A law against them would risk being a dead law.A law that cannot be effectively enforced on the society.

Cukwurah Oye, in the paper ‘Bilateral and Multilateral Co-operation in the Control of Drug Trafficking’[43] observed that between the years 1919 to 2000, it is very evident for a keen observer to see that daunting magnitude on the war on drugs by the international community through international law. He further remarked that presently, it is not the international legal instruments that is lacking but the necessary political will to perform those obligations under those treaties.  He also cited corruption, poverty and determination by drug barons to continue their trade as obstacles.  He concluded that unless there is sense of commitment by nations to win the battle against illicit drugs, the future remains hopeless. It can be seen how honest an analysis of the drug problem is, and what was observed are essentially true, but the little efforts seen on the part of the governments to tackle the problem should only raise hope and not a sense of despair as observed above.

Alemika Etannibi, in the paper ‘Narcotic Drug Problem in Nigeria’[44] was able to discuss the impact of the drug problem in Nigeria and he concluded that the effect of such problem is particularly in terms of the bad image created for the country and her citizens abroad.  While that may be true, the researcher finds that there are much graver effects of the drug problem in Nigeria than her image abroad.  Firstly, the rate of drug addicts would continue to rise.  Secondly, the youth who are more susceptible to drug abuse would be sucked into a culture of drug abuse which is capable of destroying generation after generation of youths. Thirdly, that crime rates would sore high as offenders are accustomed to drug abuse. Again, since the drug problem is global or universal, it involves almost every other nation as thus, Nigeria cannot be singled out and therefore a bad image for the country is a farfetched effect of the drug problem in Nigeria.

Oluruntimehin Olufunmilayo, in the paper ‘Sociological and Psychological

Implications of Drug Trafficking’[45] examined the socio-psychological implication of drug trafficking and abuse.  She observed that efforts have been made to demonstrate the common reasons given for the persistence of drug trafficking and abuse.  She noted that there is a need to introduce another explanation which is driven from Merton’s perspective on anomie (psychological evaluation), particularly, that which focused on the imbalance between goals and institutionalised means. That it is on one hand, the adoption of innovation have been used to explain the activities of drug traffickers while on the other hand, the adoption of retreatismhas been used to explain the activities of drug addicts.  She further stated that a successful policy should make a distinction between drug traffickers and drug abuses. She concludes that such a policy for solving the drug problem in Nigeria should particularly classify drug trafficking as criminal act, while drug abuse as a clinical problem. This position is proper and prudent. And even as the 1961 convention of Dangerous Drugs make a similar declaration, the reality is that both drug abuse and drug trafficking are offences under Section 3 of the NDLEA Act in Nigeria.  It would be recommended in this research that drug abuse should be removed from being a criminal act and be made a clinical condition subject to rehabilitation.

Ahire Phillip, in the paper ‘Drug Abuse in Nigeria: Facts, Causes and Remedies’[46] noted that a patently prohibitionist and legalistic approach to drug control is fraught with problems.  He further noted that one of the problems of drugs, particularly tobacco and alcohol.The issue of their use or abuse borders on morality and some, like Professor Hart has argued that law should keep a safe distance from the enforcement of private morality. He concluded that unless the society is willing to accept tobacco and alcohol as illicit, it would be futile to ban them. However, the issue of prohibiting such drugs as tobacco and alcohol goes beyond the realm of private morality into one of public safety.Since tobacco is known to cause lung disease even for those who are nonsmokers but who only passively inhale it52. Alcohol also causes so many illnesses, from liver diseases to psychological diseases such as alcoholism.  Both end up causing social dilemma for both victims and their relatives. And a good number of homes have been destroyed from such practices.It is often believed that the state of the nation begins at home and that the family is the basis unit of the nation.The researcher suggests that the law must, therefore safeguard this national treasure i.e. the home or family and the notion that the law has no business enforcing private morals must not extend to any


attempt by the law to ban socially acceptable drug such as alcohol and tobacco. The only problem is that whether the ban can in fact succeed.

Uche, in the paper ‘Drug Abuse at the University-A Case Study of Benin Students’[47] observed that there are various types of drugs such as tranquilisers, hypnotics, analgesics, narcotics and stimulants that are currently used by students particularly at the tertiary institutions.  He noted that family instability and peer pressure as the most common causes for drug abuses by students.  He then concluded that it is necessary to identify correctly what drugs are being abused, where they are obtained from, when and where they are abused etc to be able to effectively so prevent further abuses. This conclusion could never be a lasting solution to the common causes of drug abuse by students at the tertiary institutions.  It would only solve the problem of supply but not at the demand. The issue of demand is from family instability and peer influence as he rightly noted.  Surely, it becomes important that those customary institutions that manage matrimonial problems must be strengthened and schools must be proactive in checking and counselling unruly students regularly and this duty cannot be left on the family or parents alone. The process of achieving this would be recommended in this dissertation.

Taiwo, in the paper ‘Forensic Aspects of the Investigation of Drug Related Offences’[48] remarked that the forensic science laboratory Oshodi, which was first established in 1953, is the only type of its kinds operating in West Africa up till the early 2000. The laboratory did not get involved specifically in drug analysis until late 1982. That the laboratory analyst would receive drug exhibits, analyse them, write report on them and then dispatch both the report and the remaining exhibit under seal to the station of origin. The analyst would also appear before the court as expert witness to give evidence when summoned to the court. He then noted that the police, customs and NDLEA officers often conduct field test i.e. test done at the spot where drugs are confiscated to determine their nature and chemical compound with a view to discovering whether or not they are illicit substances. He concluded that such field test often produce inconclusive result and an average of over one-quarter cases that tested positive of the field test, turns out to be negative in laboratory test. Again not all cases are sent for confirmation after initial field test, just a fraction are. The researcher finds that the immediate problem affecting field testing is the possibility of innocent suspects being wrongfully prosecuted.  It would be noted in this research that since field testing is usually inaccurate and inconclusive, it must be rarely relied upon, instead, drugs and substance exhibit should be taken to the laboratory for confirmation as a matter of standard operation procedure always especially in view of Taiwo’s revelations above.

Godwin Ovbiagele, in the paper ‘Forensic Aspect of The Investigation of Drug Related Offences’[49] observed that the provision of the NDLEA Decree 48 of 1989, now section 3 NDLEA Act outlaws the importation, manufacturing, sale, possession, etc of drugs popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroin or any similar drug.  He said that all drugs confiscated as exhibits must be forensically proven positive to be regard as illicit drugs.

That the interpretation forensically of the term “other similar drugs” contained in the provision of the Act creates a lot of uncertainties. Does the similarities relate to pharmacological profiles, or to chemical structures or to addictive properties? He further observed that both cocaine and heroin are pharmacologically and chemically dissimilar.

The similarity is thatthey are both highly addictive. He concludes that instead of the section adopting the ejus dem generis rule, that it would be better for there to be a list of comprehensive illicit drugs and substances for definite and clear identification. The researcher finds that while much of Godwin’s observations are shared by this

researcher, it is not so desirable that the ejus dem generis rule be substituted for an all inclusive list or a comprehensive list. This is because, illicit drug traffickers, the drug barons are always innovative in creating new or hybrid substance and thus, if new drugs or substances that can cause health hazards and are addictive are manufactured, given the time it takes to amend legislations, the purpose of safe guarding the society from falling victims of drug abuse become defeated.  This is tied to the fact that the Nigeria constitutions disallowed the prosecution of an act or omission unless such act or omission has been legislated upon[50] .

Adetona Ade, in ‘Traditional Healers on Drug Law Enforcement’[51] noted that behind every successful drug pusher or drug trafficker, there is always a traditional healer.  He further noted that traditional healers have the ability to make a pusher invisible or to command obedience.  That the many murder victims who are found missing body parts such as breasts, genitals, eyes, etc are victims of ritual murders.  He concluded that traditional healers are a part of the problem because they provide assistance such as amulet and charms, incantations and other rituals to enable a trafficker succeed. Adetone Ade is a traditional healer, and he recommends that whenever suspects are arrested and prosecuted, any traditional healer who is found assisting suspected drug traffickers should also be prosecuted.  But to what extent can traditional healers be actually prosecuted to a guilty verdict when their actions rest upon the supernatural? The researcher finds that the proof of it is very difficult and going by the conditions


necessary for the proof of crime under Nigerian criminal law (the proof of actus reus), it is unlikely that such a move would succeed. Perhaps offences like conspiracy and aiding criminal acts which is established when two or more persons agree to do an act which is an offence under the law when invoked against such traditional healers can succeed.

Eze Osita, in the paper ‘Political-Economy Aspects of Drug Trafficking and Narcotics Abuse’[52] commented on the Conference on Drug Abuse held in New York by which some state officials participated from Nigeria. He stated that while the benefits derived from training abroad cannot be ignored, that Nigeria should avoid the temptation of over reliance on U.S. Government becausetheir specific problems might be different from ours (in Nigeria).  He stated further that we (in Nigeria) should develop the culture of solving our local problems locally as much as possible.  He then concluded that by this way, our appreciation of our local problems and their solution will be indigenous based lending themselves to easy adaptation and progressive development.  The researcher finds that EzeOsita has missed the point.  The very purpose of that particular conference is to provide various nations the opportunity to share information relating to the progress, challenges, intentions and efforts for the common benefit of the participants at the conference.  Again ideas would be shared and familiarity between parties can strengthen work bond and comrade ship that are very crucial to the survival of international relations by member states. Eze’s opinion contradicts the continued call by stakeholders for nation states to unite against illicit drugs and substances.  Such an opinion cannot be justified and should be rejected.

Asuni Tolani, in the paper ‘Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Offenders and Abusers’[53] mentioned that voluntary treatment is the most successful in rehabilitating victims of drug abuses. He said that if an addict is not motivated to give up his addictive behaviour and enters into treatment voluntarily, it is a waste of time as that amounts to treatment against his will.  He concluded that voluntary rehabilitation should be encouraged and adopted as government policy.  The researcher finds that the problem with this position held by Asuni is that the victim may not be in the proper state of mind to appreciate making the right decision like voluntarily accepting rehabilitation. Also, other psychological factors contributing to his addictiveness such as frustration, trauma, abject poverty and even peer influence would prevent such voluntary move.  The victim may end up destroying himself or doing something criminal which offends the law, his family and the society. Thus, none voluntary treatment must be applied in appropriate cases so that parents, guardians, the authorities and even the court of law can be able to order an addict to rehabilitation with or without the victims consent.

Osinbajo Yemi, in the paper ‘The Legal and Institutional Framework for the Eradication of Drug Trafficking in Nigeria’[54] observed that a definite problem with the efficacy of Nigeria’s anti drug laws and policies, including the implementation of its treaty obligations was the absence of a central agency for the coordination and monitoring of these efforts.  He further observed that the formulation and implementation of policy developed into a sort of rivalry between the numerous government agencies sharing that responsibility. He concluded that the establishment of the National Drug Enforcement Agency was the answer to those problems earlier cited.

The researcher finds that that may not be the case precisely because all that the NDLEA was able to do was to focus the major responsibility of administering the Act. No law existed up till date that has removed the initial role of those bickering agencies from performing the duties relating to prevention and control of drugs and substance in Nigeria. Therefore, if the multiplicity of government agencies was a major problem hindering the state’s efforts against illicit drug activities in the country, then on one hand the problem is reduced by focusing the responsibility on one agency. On the other hand, another agency is added to the multiple players, and the bickering and rivalry has not gone away.  It is difficult to conclude that the problem is solved.  The researcher suggests that except where the NDLEA is given sole jurisdiction over all preventive and control measures on illicit drugs, no meaningful solution to that problem can be found.

Atta, in the paper ‘Drug Trafficking and its Implication for Nigeria and its image Abroad’[55] noted that drugs were first introduced into Nigeria in the mid 1940s soon after the Second World War (WWII). The demobilised soldiers who had fought in India and Burma had returned with marijuana seeds back home to Nigeria.  He concluded that, that was the genesis of Nigeria’s drug problems.  Also, it is an accurate report that demobilised soldiers brought back Indian hemp seeds that later lead to wide spread used of it in Nigeria. Butit was not in the 1940s thatillicit drugs were introduced into Nigeria.  The researcher finds that in 1925, the Colonial Government had passed the Dangerous Drug Ordinance and again in 1935 the Dangerous Drug (amendment) Ordinance was passed. Both statutes were passed in response to the rise of drug use by some communities in colonial times. This occurred at least 10 years before the end of the Second World War to which Atta allude to. Again, it would have taken a concerted effort by those retired soldiers to spread Indian hemp from a handful of seedlings. Thus,

it is doubtful that most of today’s Indian hemp originated from those soldiers. It must be noted here that illicit drug trafficking is a global venture where drugs like Indian hemp are for instance planted in Cameroon to be sold specifically in Nigeria.

Okonkwo Clifford, in the paper ‘Death Penalty: Myth or Reality’[56] suggested the application of the death penalty against convicted drug traffickers, so that, as he puts it,‘we can mobilise all the weapons at our disposal to fight these evils of drug abuses and save our nation’.  But at a time like this, so many human rights activists have been clamouring for the complete abolition of the death sentence.  The researcher finds that even if such a recommendation is made in this dissertation, it is even doubtful that the Federal Government of Nigeria would heed such a call to add to the list of capital offences carrying the death sentence, especially when no international instrument require or even allow the death penalty for illicit drug and substance offences.

Adeyemi Adedokun, in the paper ‘Death Penalty in Nigeria; Criminological Perspectives’[57] commented on why African nations continue to retain the death penalty when their colonial masters are shedding the death sentence from their criminal system.He stated that it is within the context of low level societal resource development in the African countries, and the attendant inability of most of them to deal with the problems of serious crimes that their retention of the death penalty is viewed. Adeyemi is suggesting that under development, poverty and high crime rates are the reason that the death penalty is retained in Africa. The researcher finds that this is hardly an accurateobservation because most African countries still retain the received corpus of colonial laws in their legal systems. There are so many issues that need to be reviewed and amended and not just the criminal law or particularly the death penalty. Therefore, the lack of proper democratic progress in the political realm is the main cause of such problem. This is because with a government that listens to the voice of the people and acts on the majority will of the people; such legal reforms would be a thing of the past.

Chukkol Kharisu, in the paper ‘Towards a National Drug Control Strategy – A

Blueprint’[58] commented on Section 4 of the NDLEA Act which stated that

the Agency has the power to cause investigations to be conducted into properties of any person if it appears to the Agency that that person’s life style and extent of his properties are not justified by his ostensible source of income,

Recommended that the Agency should start off right there as there are so many people whose life style and extent of properties are incompatible with their legitimate income. No matter what intentions the Government of Nigeria has and to which Chukkol rightly share, such a move must be done with outmost caution as individuals risk being subjected to an inquisition and the resultant persecutions.  The researcher suggests that it is advisable that such power be exercised only on justified grounds such as where suspicion is glaring.  However, any person who feels his rights may be in danger can seek for their enforcement. The Nigerian Legal System is not inquisitorial in nature. It is wrong to suspect a person of drug trafficking simply because his source of income is not known.

Isabella, in the paper ‘Death Penalty as an Effective Deterrent to Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking’[59] cautioned on the need to apply the death penalty on drug offender.  She said that the move towards progressive increase in the severity of penalties is based on the simplistic view that the more severe a punishment, the greater it’s subsequent deterrence.  She concluded that this view has never been demonstrated to have any basis in reality.  As such, the death penalty should be rejected altogether. The researcher finds that whether the death penalty is actually effective or not as deterrence capable of preventing illicit drug offences remains debatable.  At least, first of all, it has deterred permanently the said offender from committing any further offence. Secondly, it has greater socio-economic advantages to the nation such as its being a measure of shifting the more dangerous members of the society from cultivation and that it is much more economical than the cost of imprisonment on the nation’s coffers.

Azinge Ephipany, in the paper ‘The Death Penalty: An Effective Deterrent to Drug Trafficking and Abuse’[60] mentioned that punishment of offenders for illicit drug offences must not be given undue prominence in the war against drug traffickers.  To do so, could be tantamount to accepting the futility of all attempts to dissuade people from trafficking in drugs.  He concluded that greater emphasis be placed on more effective preventive measures since preventions, as they say, is better than cure.  The researcher finds that this comment is very accurate, however, it is in the interest of deterrence that penal threats against drug offences are publicized.

Ladan Tawfik, in the paper‘Crime Prevention and Control And Human Rights In Nigeria’[61] commented on the sociological viewpoint of crime. He quotes Paul Tappan who defines crime as an ‘intentional act’ in violation of criminal law, committed without defence or excuse and penalised by the state as a felony or misdemeanour.  This definition does not however consider other states of mind of an accused person other than intention.  For instance knowledge, i.e. where a person knows that his conduct is at least capable of leading to an offence. Negligence, i.e., where a person who is required to observe a reasonable degree of care in his conduct, but he neglect to do so.Then due

to the duty of care which he fails to observe, his conduct becomes blameworthy.Recklessness, i.e., where a person fails to properly consider the consequences of his conduct.He becomes unjustifiably rash or taking unwarranted risk. Ladan should have commented as thus, if a man does not only need to intend an act in violation of criminal law to commit a crime. This definition of crime is strictly based on intention alone as the ingredient of mens rea. If a scenario occurs such as where a person exports narcotics drugs to a foreign country through a commercial airline courier, if he is arrested, the airline operators would also be investigated on the event as Section 25 of the Act[62] requires all commercial transporters to be vigilant and prevent the use of their transport system from being used by drug traffickers. A duty of care is place on commercial transporters by the section. Now according to Section 25[63] , if the operators of such transport system were negligent and reckless in their conduct, it would be said that they were responsible for allowing transportation of narcotics due to negligence.  In this regards, even if intention is not established, negligence may prove the blameworthiness of the airline operators.

Bowett David, in the book ‘The Law of International Institutions’[64] stated that treaty is an agreement in written form governed by international law concluded between two or more states, or other subjects of international law, possessed of treaty-making capacity.  He observed that while treaty-making power is clear evidence of international personality it is an infinitely variable concept and it does not in the least follow that every international person has capacity to make treaties. All entities having treatymaking capacity necessarily have international personality. On the other hand, it does not follow that all international persons have treaty-making capacity. He concludes that whether or not any given international organisations have treaty-making power can only be determined by reference to the constitution of the organisation.  But of course the constitution of an organisation cannot limit the legitimate and lawful rights and powers of such similar bodies as is customary under law. If the law actually permit it, no organisation can prohibit. The court would simply not affirm such a limitation unless on good cause.

Olufumilayo, in the paper ‘Victims Remedies in cases of illegal Trafficking and Usage of Drugs: Who should Compensate Victims’[65]   Stated that in an attempt to determine or identify a victim of drug abuse and drug crime, it is necessary to identify the kind of drug involved in the case. That if hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin are involved, then there is infact no victim since it can be said that a wiling transaction between the user and the peddler had occurred. She concluded that the so called victim should even be regarded as an accomplice to the trafficker. The researcher finds that this view, no matter how sincere it seems, must be discarded for two reasons. First, the Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 had specifically mentioned that all drugs users are to be considered as clinically sick persons entitled to medical rehabilitation and not as criminals. This provision was restated in the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance of 1988 and this is in fact the trend in Europe and some states in the United States of America.  Secondly, it has not been an acceptable position in criminal law that a person can contribute, accept or permit a criminal conduct against his person. For instance, in an offence of causing bodily hurt, it is no defence that the victim permitted or even monetarily motivated the accused person to cause hurt to his person. Not even a case of contributory negligence is accepted under the Nigerian criminal law. Thus, the victim becomes entitled to compensation where it is available[66] [67] .

Leroy Lamborn, in the paper ‘Victims in the Criminal Justice Process: The American Perspective’[68] described the modern trend in developed countries on the issue of compensation and remedies for victims of crime.  He stated that in 1957, Margery Fry, a British social reformer, when informed that court ordered restitution payment for offences could not be completed unless the victim lived for 442 more years, began a movement for the establishment of a special program of compensation of crime victim by the state.  That the interest engendered by that movement prompted Stephen Schaferto survey the means of making reparations to victims around the world.  This movement for reform continued mainly in Europe and in 1983, New Zealand established the first comprehensive state criminal victim compensation programme, which made awards to victims of violent crime for medical and funeral expenses and for lost earnings and support.  In 1984, the United Kingdom established a similar program which was adopted subsequently in Australia, Canada, the United States and Western Europe. He concluded that as a consequence of the interest in the psychological support and reparation offered by those various programs, increased attendance came to be focused on the responsibility of the criminal justice system to victims.  The researcher finds that the position in Nigeria is rather distant from these commendable achievements. No proper statutory law adequately cater for victims of crime in Nigeria today.

Gavin, in the book ‘Law, Justice and Politics’[69] , commented on the obstacles of getting justice.He stated that, law tends by its very nature, to be a conservative force, cushioning society from the impact of rapid change and to lag behind the prevailing values and attitudes in society.  This has two consequences.The first is that, law and the machinery of justice tend to be imbued with values peculiar to middle-class and better educated people.  Secondly, much law is out of date and tends to change only belatedly and then only in response to almost irresistible pressure from return. This characteristic of the law is evident in Nigeria. For instance, by 1985, nearly two-third of countries in the British Commonwealth had made legislations recognizing the rights of victims of crimes to receive compensation and remedies either from the state or from the convicted offender. Not so in Nigeria. The country was moving from one military dictator to another.The prospect of having a similar legislation was dim lit. The jittery military would not allow such a law to be made so much that from 1990 onwards, so many stake holders, including the Federal Ministry of Justice noted how long overdue the need for such legislations was.  One could only imagine the barrage of petitions and the continued litigation against the military regime from the civilian population assuming such a law was made. The only option for the nation is to make that irresistible pressure on the government by any means necessary.

Dennis, in the book‘The Idea of the Law’75,commented on the necessity of law in the society and cited David Hume who observed that without law, government and coercion, human society could not exist and so in this sense law was a natural necessity for man.  He further cited an Indian philosophy which maintained that men are by nature passionate and covetous and that if left to them the world would resemble a devils workshop where the logic of the fish would reign, that is, the big ones would eat up all the little ones.  But more than anything else is the need to maintain the law properly.  This brings up the four institutions that are accustomed to doing that namely; the legislator, the judiciary, the executive and the police.  But in almost every society where these four exist, including where they are fused or shared and not necessary separated, it seems obvious that their inadequacy has continued to cause ever louder consternation amongst the populace. The ongoing Arab Spring which is essentially a social revolution against such inadequacies of maintaining the law proves this fact. However, nothing really exists today that can supplant these institutions except for a change in the caliber of men handling the sectors.  Thus, these institutions remain a necessary evil as the human society do not do too well with them and cannot do without them.

Clement, in the book‘Nigeria: The Limits of Justice’[70] observed that courts exist to dispense justice.  Where the citizens of a country lose faith in the ability of the judiciary to effectively dispense justice, they begin to place little reliance or confidence in the judiciary.Thus, reducing recourse to the law courts and the law enforcement system.  He concluded that in Nigeria, the courts are increasingly becoming a bottleneck in the process of dispensation of justice.  Litigants go to court expecting the worst, citing delayed justice and the judicial attitude to human rights as the chief cause of the problem. But Clementshould also have stated that this problem was originally brought about by the nature of Nigeria’s procedural law from the Evidence Act to the Court Rules and Procedures Codes. For as long as cases are adjourned incessantly for want of sufficient evidence in Nigeria and so far as the judiciary remains reliant on the executive for funding and for the judges’ personal security, the enforcement of human rights by the not so independent court would remain a problem.

Harry, in the book‘Freedom, the Individual and the Law’[71] commented on personal freedom and police powers. He cited lord Devlin who stated that, ‘you may sometimes read in novels and detective stories perhaps written by people not familiar with police procedure, that persons are sometimes taken into custody for questioning’. There is no such power in this country (U.K.). A man cannot be detained unless he is arrested. Harry then observed that courts in the U.K. from the House of Lords downwards have frequently had to make it clear that the police have no power to require a person to go to the police station in order to answer questions. He concluded that even the Lord Chief Justice of the U.K. is on record in ruling that a man who refused to tell a policeman his destination and his name and address was not guilty of an offence because a citizen had no legal duty to answer the policeman’s questions. Any law that allows a different position from this would endanger the personal freedom of citizens. The NDLEA in Nigeria have the power to exercise all police duties and powers. They can also investigate a person they suspect has wealth or property derived from illicit drugs trafficking. But the right to personal liberty of a suspect is fundamental which the

NDLEA Act cannot override, especially when Section 39 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 is considered.

Fitzgerald, in the book‘Voluntary and Involuntary Acts’78 stated that where an accused person is seen to have lacked the ability to control his conduct, the law should not consider his act as a crime.  He concluded that for this reason, the courts usually lean towards allowing drunkenness as a defense.  This position best describes voluntary intoxication as a defense to a crime in Nigeria.  Only the Criminal Code admits voluntary intoxication as a defense in certain instances, the Penal Code does not.  Again, since intoxication can come about through hard drugs induced intoxication, it can avail an offender as a defense for intoxication.  This is rather unfortunate as the Criminal Code does not limit the cause of intoxication to alcohol only. But such a position should not be accepted by our courts since it would only permit or tolerate drug abuse which is wrong.

Turner, in the book‘The Mental Element in Crimes of Common Law’[72] recommends that henceforth, negligence as an element of mens rea has no place in the common law as basis for criminal responsibility, that the idea is even nonsensical and concludes that negligence as such imports in to the realm of criminal law, the doctrine of strict liability. But then how can criminal liability for failure to perform a required duty are established in situation’s lacking intention and knowledge? It seems that turner in an attempt to prevent the criminal law from adulteration by tort has created a larger lacuna.  As even gross misconduct is itself proved where there is a duty to perform along with a duty of care. Negligence seems to be the only mental state of mind to prove it and as such must be retained.

Melissa, in the book‘Governing the Heroin Trade: From Treaties to Treatment’[73] observed that methadone (popularly known as crystal meth) is a controlled substance listed in schedule 1 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.But unlike heroin, it is however not included in schedule IV of the same Convention. The level of control required for drugs listed under schedule 1 is negligible as compared to those listed in schedule IV of the Single Convention. She concluded that this position make the law regulating the content of these drugs to vary while methadone is considered a minor offence, heroin is considered a major one. The effort is that the availability of methadone becomes common and easy when compared with heroin, thus leading to the wide spread abuse of methadone or crystal meth in most countries around the world. Melissa however failed to suggest the step needed to address this problem, leaving it to the imagination of the reader.  The researcher suggests that if the reverse of the situation is to be achieved, then there is the need to include methadone in schedule IV of the Single Convention with a view to strengthen regulation and control of it.

Weisheit, in the book‘Methamphetamine: Its History, Pharmacology and Treatment’[74] noted that one of the most important achievement of the United Nations Convention Against Traffic and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance, is the increase annually since 1989 of illicit drugs world wide as a result of legal and institutional innovations contained in the Convention.  The researcher concludes here that what was missing before the convention was a unified international effort with clear legal rules for the prevention of illicit drug trafficking in the world at large.  This shows again that international corporation is the most important avenue through which global drug problems can be solved.

Finally, this researcher has reviewed 35 various materials that had analysed  and discussed narcotic drug problems, its prevention and control through domestic and international law.  Nigeria faces a drug problem involving illicit traffic and abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Since the drug problem is essentially a global malaise, the role of international law in the global efforts against this problem is an important avenue through which meaningful developments can be made on solving this drug problem.

Therefore, a case study of Nigeria’s domestic implementation would be done with this view in mind. This dissertation would attempt to achieve just that, and it would be significantly different from the works of authors reviewed as such by providing different approach to the solutions of Nigeria’s illicit drug problems.

1.9        Organisational Layout

This dissertation contains six chapters. Chapter one gives an outline of the dissertation. Chapter two contains the Historical Development of the Law Regulating Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in Nigeria and conceptual clarification of key terms used in this dissertation. Chapter three contains a analysis on the prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international law. Chapter four contains the challenges facing the domestic implementation of international law on the prevention and control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria. Chapter five contains a discussion on the compensation and remedies for victims of crimes in Nigeria. Chapter six contains the findings and recommendations of the research, it is the concluding Chapter.

[1] Oyakhilome, F.E. (1990) ‘Keynote Address’ Delivered at the National Seminar on Drug Law Enforcement Organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, held at the Main Auditorium of the Nigeria Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos, 9th-11th, May, , p. 3.

[2] Emafo, P. (1990) Drug Regulation and Social Policy, Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series, Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos, p. 63.

[3] Holy Bible, Genesis 30:14. 4 Ibid.

[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari 7-71:582.

[5] Szczepanski, K., (2015) History of the Assassins or Hashshashin, ISBN 978-0-83121-1414-7. Retrieved January 6, 2017.

[6] Clarke, R.C., Hashish, ISBN 0-929349-05-9. Retrieved January 6, 2017.

[7] A semi-solid substance secreted in the sap of plants and trees.

[8] Windle, J., (2013) How the East Influenced Drug Prohibition, The International History Review. Vol. 35.

Issue 5. Published online. Retrived January 6, 2017.

[9] Ibn Taymiyyah observed an intoxicant is like wine in Islam.

[10] Q 5: V 90.

[11] Sahih Muslim

[12] This idea is based on the Utilitarian School of Thought especially as it relates to Criminal Liability. See.

Chukkol, K.S. (1990) Law of crimes, A.B.U Press Ltd. p. 17.

[13] See Article 3 (1) (ii), the United Nations Convention against Illicit Trafficking and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

[14] It is the United Nations that determines what drug and substance is illicit.

[15] The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Annual Law Report, 2011, p. 33.

[16] The Convention for Limiting the Manufacturing and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs of 1931, and maintained in the 1988 Convention. 18 Daily Trust , Thursday 17 March (2012) p. 33

[17] The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1960.

[18] Section 3, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act. Cap. N. 30 L.F.N 2004.

[19] Nigeria is a signatory to the 1988 Convention on Drug by the U.N. This Convention incorporates the 1961 Convention which requires that illicit drug users be treated as clinically sick people.

[20] This led to the establishment of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Nigeria in 1990.  23National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act CAP. N. 30. L.F.N 2004.

[21] Article 21 of the Convention of 1988.

[22] The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Annual report, 2009.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] See the preamble to the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 which stated the importance of international law in combating illicit drug activities in the world at large.

[26] John, S.G. (1990) ‘Narcotics Abuse Prevention Programmes: What works?’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos  p. 53-55.

[27] The United States of America Drug Enforcement Agency Annual report (2010) p. 33.

[28] The University of Penang, Malaysia Annual Medical Report, (1990) p. 67.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid

[32] Mohammed, B.H. (1990) ‘Perspectives and Strategies in the Control of the Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. IkejaLagos  p. 45

[33] Ibid.

[34] Uvieghara, E.E. (2005) ‘Labour Law in Nigeria’, Malthouse Press Ltd. Lagos, p. 65. 39Oyakhilome, E.E. op.cit. Fn. 72. P. 28.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Oyakhilome, F. E. op.cit. 42 Ibid.

[37] The NationalDrug Law Enforcement Agency Annual Report, (2009) p.91.

[38] Iyamabo, J.A. (1990) ‘Perspectives and Strategies in the Control of the Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos  p.

[39] .

[40] Messrs Martin Denton and Hugh Ryan, (1990) ‘Perspectives and Strategies in the Control of the Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 37.

[41] The Nigeria Immigration Service Annual Report 2011.

[42] Emafo, P.O. (1990) “Drug Regulation and Social Policy” Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series.

Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 65

[43] Cukwurah, A.O. (1990) ‘Bilateral and Multilateral Co-operation in the Control of Drug Trafficking

Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 89

[44] Alemika, E.O. (1990) ‘Narcotic Drug Problems in Nigeria’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series.

Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 111

[45] Oloruntimehin, O.O. (1990) ‘Sociological and Psychological Implications of Drug Trafficking’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos, p. 123.

[46] Ahire, P. (1990) ‘Drug Abuse in Nigeria: Facts, Causes and Remedies’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 139 52Ibid.

[47] Uche, C. (1990)  ‘Drug Abuse at the University-A Case Study of the University of Benin’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 157

[48] Taiwo, M.O.                Forensic Aspects of the Investigation of Drugs’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law

Review Series.                                            Lagos p. 171

[49] Godwin, E.O.                Forensic Aspects of the Investigation of Drugs’Federal Ministry of Justice Law

Review Series.                                            Lagos p. 175

[50] Section 36 (8) and (12) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

[51] Adetona, A.                Traditional Healers on Drug Law Enforcement’Federal Ministry of Justice Law

Review Series.                                            Lagos p. 183

[52] Eze, O.C. (1990) ‘Political and Economy aspects of Drug Trafficking and Narcotic Abuse’Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 189

[53] Asuni, T. (1990) ‘Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Offenders and Abusers’ Federal Ministry of

Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 199

[54] Osibanjo, Y. (1990) ‘The Legal and Institutional Framework for the Eradication of Drug Trafficking in Nigeria’Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 223.

[55] Atta, A.I. (1990) ‘Drug Trafficking and its implications for Nigeria and its image abroad’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos. P. 250.

[56] Okonkwo, C.O. (1990)  ‘Death Penalty: Myth or Reality’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series.

Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 263.

[57] Adeyemi, A. (1990) ‘Death Penalty in Nigeria: Criminological Perspectives’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 281.

[58] Chukkol, K.S. (1990)  ‘Towards a National Drug Control Strategy – A Blueprint’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 211.

[59] Isabella, O. (1990)  ‘Death Penalty as an effective Deterrent to Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 317.

[60] Azinge, E. (1990) ‘The Death Penalty: An Effective Deterrent to Drug Trafficking and Abuse’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. Bencod Press Ltd. Ikeja-Lagos p. 350.

[61] Ladan, M.T. (1998) Crime Prevention and Control and Human Rights in Nigeria,JUSTICE WATCH PUBLICATION, Abuja p. 4.

[62] National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap. N. 30. L.F.N 2004.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Bowett, D.W. (2008) The Law of International Institutions, Stevens & Sons Ltd, London p. 304.

[65] Olufunmilayo, O. (1990) ‘Victims Remedies in cases of illicit trafficking and Usage of drugs: Who should Compensate Victims’Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. (No Publisher stated) p. 215.

[66] Chioma, K.A. (2011) ‘Nigerian Employment and Labour Law and Practice’, Concept Press Ltd, Lagos, p.


[68] Leroy, L.L. (1990) ‘Victims in the Criminal Justice Process: An American Perspective’ Federal Ministry of Justice Law Review Series. (No Publisher Stated) p. 90.

[69] Gavin, D. (2009) Law, Justice and Politics, Longman Press Ltd, London, p. 17. 75 Dennis, L. (1995) The Idea of the Law, Penguin Press Ltd, England, p. 37.

[70] Clement, N. (1993) Nigeria: The Limit of Justice, Constitutional Rights Project Press, Lagos, p. 11.

[71] Harry, S. (1992)  Freedom, the Individual and the Law, Penguin Books Press Ltd, England, p. 33. 78 Fitzgerald, P.J. (1998) Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence, Oxford University Press, Oxford, p. 37.

[72] Tuner, D.(1996) Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence, Oxford University Press, Oxford, p. 59.

[73] Melissa, B. (2008) Governing the heroin trade: From treaties to treatment, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. p. 97.

[74] Weisheit, R.A. (2013)  Methamphetamine: Its history, pharmacology, and treatment, Hazelden Press Ltd, Minnesota-USA, p. 23.

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