Barristers & Solicitors
Kyari may spend more days in detention as NDLEA approaches court

Embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, and four others may spend more time in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency as the NDLEA has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja informing the court of its intention to detain the suspects beyond the stipulated 48 hours.

The PUNCH learnt that the NDLEA has already begun a forensic analysis of the cocaine seized by Kyari.

A top source at the agency, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to speak with the press, said the cop had made some revelations which would lead to more investigations and as such, the NDLEA would not be able to arraign him just yet.

He said, “Kyari has made some revelations which will lead to more investigations. Also, the NDLEA is doing a forensic analysis of some of the cocaine recovered by Kyari since he claimed in a video that he replaced cocaine with a dummy one.

“So, the agency has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja notifying the court of our intention to interrogate him further and verify some of his claims.”

Kyari was arrested by the police on Monday for alleged drug trafficking and handed over to the NDLEA along with four others – Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu. Another officer, ASP John Umoru, is said to be at large.

The DCP, who was suspended by the police last July for his alleged links to international fraudster, Hushpuppi, was caught on video during a sting operation by the NDLEA attempting to sell part of the cocaine which was seized from some drug dealers in Enugu, while his suspension was subsisting.

Meanwhile, the NDLEA on Wednesday said that it had no reason to shield anyone who may be indicted in the course of the ongoing investigation of a 25kg cocaine deal involving a gang headed by Kyari.

The agency in a statement by its Spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, said it remained committed to evidence based investigation and its resolve cannot be weakened by any misrepresentation of facts.

The NDLEA said this while responding to claims by the police that some NDLEA officials at the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, connived with drug dealers to bring in 25kg of cocaine which was eventually seized by Kyari and his team.

Reacting in a statement, the agency stated, “To correct some inaccuracies in the information in the public space that NDLEA officers at the Enugu airport were the ones who received from the cartel details about the mule coming from Addis Ababa, the agency wishes to quote from the transcript of Abba Kyari’s recorded conversation with our undercover officer and a portion of ASP James Bawa’s statement to the police as documented in the police investigation report, a copy of which was made available to the agency, to state that it’s an established fact that it’s the Abba Kyari’s team that was contacted by the cartel and without doubt the records clearly show how their ring works.”

He recalled that after NDLEA requested for Kyari and others for interrogation, they were questioned by the police, after which they were handed over along with the report of their interrogation.

The NDLEA spokesman added that according to the police investigation report, ASP James Bawa in his statement to the police revealed that ‘he was called by an informant identified as IK from Brazil who told him that a drug courier will be arriving on board Ethiopian Airlines in Enugu.

“He explained further that a pointer from IK, the Brazil based informant met with him at about 1420hrs on January 19, 2022 outside the airport and showed him a picture of the courier. Subsequently, they sighted the suspect as he exited the airport terminal after all arrival clearance formalities, and he was arrested with another associate.”

He said that in his own recorded conversation with NDLEA undercover officer, Abba Kyari also said the following: “They are greedy, seriously greedy (referring to his informants), we tried to have them accept 40 per cent but they refused, except 50 per cent, they know the rudiment of the deal very well, they are the ones that do the packing.  From Brazil, one of the informants accompanied it to Ethiopia. You understand; one of the informants accompanied the goods to Ethiopia, one of the informants that gave us information. He is the boy of the big baron.”

Kyari further stated “In Addis, from Addis it will be given to those to proceed further with it, he will get their snapshots without their knowledge. Yes, he will reveal those that are conveying it further, get snapshots of theirs without their knowledge and send them to us (Abba Kyari’s team). So we already know the goods, pictures and the clothes they are wearing, hope you understand, we know your name, he will give us everything. So, automatically my team will just be waiting, they will just see you and arrest you.”

Responding to a question by the NDLEA officers on whether his boys are usually stationed inside or outside the airport, Kyari was quoted as saying, “Yes, yes, some are outside while some are inside. They will just allow you to finish arrival formalities and arrest you the moment you come out.”

Babafemi said based on Kyari’s own claims, it could be established who the cartel was relating with and their modus operandi.

The NDLEA spokesman said the agency would not be distracted and would focus on evidence-based investigation that will spare nobody found complicit.

In a related development, human rights activist, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), says the case involving Kyari and fraudster, Hushpuppi, would be put on hold pending the investigation by the NDLEA.

Kyari, who was the Commander, Intelligence Response Team, was suspended by the police authorities after being indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which accused him of being part of Hushpupi’s syndicate and collecting funds from the fraudster.

The Nigerian government had said last week that it was looking at the possibility of extraditing him to the US after investigations had been concluded.

Speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Wednesday, however, Adegboruwa said the Extradition Act said that a person could not be tried for the same crime in two jurisdictions and that a person facing trial must complete the process before extradition to the US.

Culled from PUNCH.