A development inclined non-governmental organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has waded into the controversy trailing an alleged marijuana picture of foremost actress Miss. Tonto Dike on the social media which culminated in the reported threat of arrest of the actress by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
In a media statement jointly issued by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National media Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the anti-drug agency was chasing shadows by threatening to arrest a Nigerian citizen whose alleged ‘marijuana photograph’ does not constitute hard core judicial evidence but rather a social media contraption that may never stand credibility test in the competent court of law. HURIWA urged NDLEA not to waste tax payers’ fund in pursuing a matter that is substantially irrelevant and lacks proof.
The Rights group urged the nation’s anti-drug agency to instead extend its dragnet and arrest high profile drug barons and peddlers rather than engage in ‘meaningless voyage of discovery’ and ‘attention seeking’ in the media which the Rights group described as ‘witch- hunting’ and an elaborate attempt to undermine the fundamental freedoms of the Actress- Miss Tonto Dike who is now being framed up with a trumped up charge of posting ‘marijuana photograph’ on the social media.
HURIWA asked NDLEA to also concentrate on how to repair its public image damaged by the costly mistake it made during the arrest, detention and investigation of the popular Yoruba comedian Baba Suwe (the popular expensive faecis/excreta gamble by the NDLEA).
HURIWA stated thus; “We are shocked that the NDLEA has deviated from their time tested mandate of going after big drug barons who have brought international opprobrium to the image of Nigeria and are now engaged in ‘media circus show’ of attempting to arrest an innocent Nigerian lady Miss. Tonto Dike over an allegation that falls flat on its face as an irredeemably unsubstantiated contraption that will inevitably fail any good test of credibility in the competent court of law. Law enforcement is not done by emotion or sentiment but on hard core evidence, empirically tested to be credible. Now that Miss. Tonto Dike has denied ever appearing in that allegedly forged photograph on the social media, NDLEA should leave this lady alone and go after big barons”.
NDLEA spokesman, Mitchell Ofoyeju had stated thus; “Our attention has been drawn to the post quite frankly and I can tell you that action will be taken on it. The law is clear and NDLEA has been very clear on the issue. No one is permitted to sell, use, cultivate or encourage the use of Indian hemp in Nigeria. The substance is one of the banned narcotics in the country.”
But HURIWA faulted the move saying that the allegation against Miss. Tonto Dike at best amounted to ‘tissue of speculative contraption’ which should not attract the attention of any serious-minded law enforcement agency except if it has run out of idea on how to pursue and arrest high profile drug barons who have flooded major streets of state capitals with hard drugs leading to serial addictions by the Nigerian youth.
The Rights group said; “NDLEA is being clever by half by stating that it will arrest and jail Miss. Tonto Dike based on mere untenable evidence of marijuana photograph on the social media. Why did the NDLEA fail to seek public clarification from the Borno state governor who was reported in a section of the media to have alleged that drug addicts are in his cabinet? Why is NDLEA after this lady? Is it because she is a woman whereas it has not bothered to look the way of the Borno state governor that alleged the presence of drug addicts in the state cabinet nor has the agency gone after the international musicians who appear regularly in the Nigerian media puffing what looks like marijuana?”