Wants Narcotic Drug offenses non-bailable
Robert B. Kutu Akoi, Director for Drug Prevention at the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), says the agency has found it difficult to fight against illegal substances, because of the country’s weak laws on illegal drugs, the lack of logistical support and the lack of budgetary support, all of which have hampered efforts.
Mr. Akoi spoke recently when he served as one of the panelists at a one-day youth forum organized by a Christian youth organization entitled, “African Youth Fellowship,” (AYF) in Monrovia.
He told a cross-section of students from various high schools in Monrovia that the LDEA has not been able to work effectively due to challenges of weak laws and the lack of logistical support to visit many of the drug-related crime-prone communities.
Akoi spoke on the topic, “The Effect of Narcotic Drugs on the Mind, Body, and Environment.”
The day-long event, which was hosted at the Calvary Memorial Chapel on 19th Street in Sinkor, under the theme, “A Healthy Youth is a Working Leader,” brought together students from St. Mary’s Catholic High School on Bushrod Island, the Ocean View Christian Academy in Sinkor, and several civil society actors.
Mr. Akoi said many times when suspected drug dealers are arrested, they would resurface in the community, which he said is due to weak judicial systems to prosecute the accused persons.
“Sometimes LDEA officers will arrest several suspected peddlers in Monrovia and its environs, but these laws are weak, and the perpetrators usually get released. Citizens who do not understand our scope of operations will attribute the release of the suspect to the LDEA, saying we are not working,” Akoi said.
He meanwhile called on the government to increase the budget to the agency, and also provide logistics to enhance movement of officers in the discharge of their duties.
Akoi then recommended that the government makes drug laws a non-bailable offense.
Student Willie B. Taweh of the Ocean View Christian Academy described the event as unique, because they it was important for them to know the effect that drugs have on the body and the environment.
Esther M. Kar, AYF Communication Director said it is important to bring together students from various high schools to learn about the dangerous effects of the use of narcotics and its effect on the human body and the environment.
AYF is a non-profitable and non-political organization founded on December 14, 2018, and seeks to promote talents of youth and provide a supportive platform for challenging the creativity of many of the youthful population.
It currently operates in Montserrado, Bong and Margibi Counties.