The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Adamawa state command said it has over 80 cases of suspected Drug dealers and users pending at the Federal High Court, Yola.

The commander, NDLEA, Adamawa state command, Mohammed Idris while speaking with newsmen at his office said most of the cases are pending because of the COVID-19 pandemic which halts court sittings and trials.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost everything, and we all know that the courts have not been sitting. We had 67 pending cases before the outbreak and 13 cases during the outbreak, making the total of 80 pending cases related to drug abuse and usage, ” he said.

Idris said they have released a lot of suspects on bail because they can not take them to the court or keep them in their custody because of the social distancing rule.

“Yes we released some on bail and the court too had granted some bails. We have to give the bail because if the courts say they are not sitting, we can’t continue holding these people here. You know the order from the federal government and advice from health personnel, we cannot continue lumping them in the cell.

” What we do is that we forward all cases to our legal unit for advice, and in most cases, they tell us that if the suspects can provide reliable surety that can provide them anytime they are needed, we should release them on bail and that is what we’ve been doing, ” he said.

The commander said they are currently renovating one of their holding cells to be used as an isolation center to keep suspects that cannot be bailed before they take them to the main cell.

“If we have any new suspect that we have to keep, we isolate them first for fourteen days. We don’t just keep them with the one’s we have. We have a little place here, an old cell that was abandoned, that we are trying to renovate and put in order. What we are trying to do now is to make sure that anybody we bring now will be isolated and not put them in the cell with the ones we have before whom we are sure of their health status, ” he said.

Idris said they have been ordered from the NDLEA headquarters to ensure that they abide by all regulations and advice from health experts to ensure that all the safety protocols against COVID-19 are observed.

He assured residents of the state that the command will not relent in its efforts of ensuring drug abuse is reduced to its nearest minimum.