We have powers to arrest, search without warrant – NDLEA

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NDLEA
NDLEA

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said its operatives do not need warrants to search premises or vehicles as well as arrest suspects.
Its spokesman Femi Babafemi also said the agency can seize exhibits because it is what the law stipulates.

Babafemi said this during a Twitter Space forum organised by the NDLEA.
Babafemi on his Twitter handles @FemiBabafemi shared the portion of the NDLEA Act, which he said empowers operatives of the agency to search, seize and arrest in this manner.
According to him: “Section 41 of the NDLEA Act, on the Agency’s power to search, seize and arrest, reads, “(1) For the purpose of this Act –
“(b) Any officer of the Agency involved in the enforcement of the provisions of this Act: (1992 No.15)
i. May, without a warrant, enter and search any land, building or carrier, including aircraft, vehicle or container or any other instrumentalities whatsoever which he has reason to believe is connected with the commission of an offence under this Act.
ii. May perform, test and take samples of any substances relating to the commission of an offence which are found on the land, building or carrier, including aircraft, vehicle, container or any other instrumentalities whatsoever searched pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection;
iii. Arrest any person whom he has reason to believe has committed an offence under this Act;
iv. Seize any item or substance which he has reason to believe has been used in the commission of an offence under this Act.”

However, some have argued NDLEA’s powers, claiming it is against the spirit of the constitution and the right to privacy.

Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) reads: ” “The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.

A Twitter user @mrfestusogun said:”This is unconstitutional and a contravention of Section 37 of the Constitution which guarantees right to privacy of homes. It is equally a contravention of Section 43 of the Constitution.”

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