* North-central records highest cases
By James Emejo
About 9,418 suspects were prosecuted for drug-related offences in 2019 compared to 9,779 in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Out of the number, 1,120 were convicted within the review period compared to 1,220 convicts in the preceding year.
According to the Drug Seizure and Arrest Statistics 2019 released Thursday, the North-central geo-political zone recorded the highest number of drug cases with 517,711.69 cases, while the South-west and South-south recorded 44,744.13 and 28,885.85 cases respectively.
The North-east region recorded the least number of drug cases with 4,490.81 issues last year, while the North-west and South-east recorded 11,968.50 and 13,234.48 drug cases within the period of assessment.
The figures, which were provided by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), verified and validated by the statistical agency, further pointed out that 612,547.89kg of narcotic drug was seized in 2019 as against 163,684.44kg confiscated in 2018, representing an increase of 274.22 per cent.
The NBS further stated that 9,479 suspects were arrested in 2019 as compared to 9,779 last year, representing a decline of -3.07 per cent, while a total of 397 counselling cases were reported as against 730 in 2018, adding that 397 counselling were
concluded compared to 440 in the preceding year.