BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
There are indications that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) may have commenced secret auction of posh autos seized from drug traffickers and money launderers, some of which are believed to have been vandalized while in the anti-narcotic facilities, nationwide.
There are concerns that majority of the vehicles which have lost their second hand values may end up been sold as scraps owing to the long period of seizures and lack of use, the status of some of the vehicles have been compounded by their various states of rot.
It is also not clear which auction window the narcotic agency plans to adopt, whether open bid or via registered auctioneers, even as those whose business it is to know say that in their present states, nothing valuable may result from the auction in relation to the market value of the vehicles if they had been treated with the right care.
In some of its facilities within Lagos, residents say some of the seized vehicles littering the premises of the agency have been vandalized, allegedly with the aid of some personnel.
In a recent statement, NDLEA’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi put the figure of seized posh autos at 249, including 37 properties and assets said to have been forfeited by the drug barons across the country.
He further explained that in the last 20 months, a total of 286 assets belonging to drug barons were confiscated while 600 bank accounts have been frozen.
A national daily quoting a registered auctioneer and operator of Godwin Udunwa & Company Ltd, reportedly said authorities in charge of the NDLEA had commenced the auctioning of the seized vehicles without due public notice.
He claimed that the committee in charge of the auction had concluded their job in Ogun State and that they were currently in Kaduna State and are billed to arrive Lagos soon.
“I know that they have started to auction. What they are doing is selling to their staff before they will commence the auction of the seized vehicles”, he was quoted to have said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the agency proved abortive as telephone calls made to its image maker, Mr. Femi Babafemi was not successful. Text message also sent his phone regarding the matter was not replied as at the time of going to press.