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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AN ANALYSIS OF UNITED NATIONS CONVENTIONS ON PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES: A CASE STUDY OF DOMESTIC IMPLEMENTATION IN NIGERIA.

Abstract:

Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances are illicit drugs regulated under international law. They are harmful and they cause mental injury to individuals that abuse them. This is mainly because of the dangerous effect of the toxic resin contained in narcotic plants such as opium and cocaine. They are also addictive so much that illicit drug users become very dependent on them. This makes the drugs to be high in demand and therefore a lucrative business for drug traffickers. The harmful effect of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances such as causing insanity, problems of addiction and a motivation of violent crimes, in addition to being a highly lucrative business, has made many countries in the world to pass laws aimed at preventing and controlling these illicit drugs. The challenges presented in these illicit drug activities include cultivating, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, selling and thereby making money quickly, has made it a global malaise or problem. For instance, cocaine produced in Columbia (producing state) are trafficked through Nigeria via Murtala Muhammad Airport in Lagos (transit state) to Europe where it is sold, (consumer states) which makes it difficult for any one country to succeed in a single effort aimed at preventing drug trafficking and drug abuse. This makes it necessary for countries as members of the international community to combine their efforts under treaty agreement and international law to prevent drug trafficking and drug abuse. In this regard, the United Nations Convention against Drug Traffic and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, amongst other conventions, provides a legal and institutional framework for countries to adopt and implement in their domestic legal systems to prevent and control illicit drug activities. The aim of this is to enable countries such as Nigeria, solve the problems of drug abuse and drug trafficking. However, despite these efforts, there is a rise in drug abuse and drug trafficking in the country. This is a major issue that this research addressed, as it has identified lapses in the law that have failed to proscribe emerging kinds of drugs. These lapses are the primary cause of the rise of drug abuse in Nigeria. For instance, cough syrup with codeine is widely abused in Nigeria and the law is unable to respond appropriately because there is no enabling statute or legislation that out rightly outlaws the abuse of cough syrup in the same way as Indian hemp is outlawed. The problem of this research is to analyse the nature and extent of the drug problems in Nigeria in relation to obligations that international law on illicit drugs requires Nigeria to perform. To also analyse the challenges hindering the successful performance of these obligations. The objective of this research is to consider how the Federal Government of Nigeria has implemented the international law with a view to address and solve the drug problem in the country. In view of the powers conferred by the international treaties on drug trafficking and drug abuse on the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Government has put in place institutions and has enacted laws for combating the drug problem in the country. Some of the institutions include the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Federal High Court as the court with original jurisdiction on illicit drug matters, and also Rehabilitation Clinics and Centres for treating and counselling drug addicts. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act is the primary legislation on combating illicit drug activities in the country. Some key findings from this research are that there are no enabling laws that empower the NDLEA and the Federal High Court to arrest and prosecute individuals abusing certain kinds of drugs such as cough syrup with codeine, e.t.c. which in turn leads to the increase in drug abuse in the country. The inability of the Federal Government of Nigeria to enhance the capacity of the NDLEA, through sufficient funding so as to counter drug trafficking has led to less policing by the NDLEA and increased illicit drug activities. Along with the lack of sufficient rehabilitation centres across the country for the sake of removing drug addicts from dependence on illicit drugs, presents a major challenge to Government efforts aimed at solving the drug problem in the country. As solution to these drug problems, it is therefore recommended to the Federal Government of Nigeria to amend the NDLEA Act with a view to proscribe emerging drugs and substances capable of abuse that are not illicit presently, to increase its funding of the NDLEA to enable it counter the activities of drug traffickers and to also build rehabilitation centres for addressing the problem of drug addiction in the country.

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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