The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has warned personnel against the detention of suspects beyond the limit allowed by law.
Mr Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
According the statement, Marwa also warned against arrest of a relation, spouse or acquaintance of a suspected drug offender, often referred to as hostage arrest.
He said the order had become imperative given the need to adhere strictly to constitutional provisions regarding arrest and detention of suspects.
‘To avoid a breach of the operations guidelines, arrangements must be made for the filing of charges in court within 24 or 48 hours as may be applicable.
“Where this is not possible, a detention order must be procured from the Federal High Court for the continuous detention of an arrested person,” he said.
It further quoted Marwa as directing that investigations in all cases should be concluded not later than one week, adding that in all cases of raid operations, all non-culpable suspects should be separated from those culpable and released immediately.
The NDLEA boss equally said that all prosecutors should ensure prompt filing of charges in courts and pursue timely arraignment of suspects.
He reaffirmed that NDLEA personnel were empowered to arrest and carry out search whenever there was reasonable ground to suspect that a drug related offence had been committed.
He, however, prohibited the detention of person for the purposes of obtaining information and intelligence without such person committing any drugs related offence.
“The agency and its personnel shall in the course of arrest and search, respect the dignity of the human person of the suspect.“Accordingly, a suspect shall not in any way be ill-treated.“Leg chain and handcuff may only be used where the person is violent and/or resistant to arrest such that reasonable force is required to restrain him or her,” Marwa added.