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Court grants NDLEA’s request to detain Kyari, others for 14 days

By Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos) and Odita Sunday (Abuja)
23 February 2022   |   4:17 am
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Zainab Dimka Abubakar has granted the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s (NDLEA) request to detain Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari...
Abba Kyari

Nigeria police officer Abba Kyari

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Zainab Dimka Abubakar has granted the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s (NDLEA) request to detain Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, and six others being investigated for their involvement in cocaine deal for 14 days.

The court gave the order following NDLEA’s application by its Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Sunday Joseph, yesterday, February 22, 2022.

In suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/111/2022, the agency sought leave of the court to detain the suspects in NDLEA custody for two weeks pending the conclusion of investigation.

The suspects are DCP Abba Kyari; ACP Sunday J. Ubia; ASP James Bawa; Inspector Simon Agirigba; Inspector John Nuhu; Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alfonsus Ezenwanne.

In an affidavit supporting the motion, the NDLEA stated that the sixth and seventh respondents (Umeibe and Ezenwanne) confessed after their arrest in Enugu that they imported the cocaine from Addis Ababa on January 19, 2022.

It further disclosed that Kyari, Ubia, Bawa, Agirigba and Nuhu are the police officers, who arrested Umeibe and Ezenwanne and transferred them to the NDLEA for further investigation.

Investigation by the NDLEA revealed that the first to fifth respondents compromised the operation and were involved in the importation, trafficking and dealing and also tampered with the seized narcotic.

It also revealed that the first to fifth respondents volunteered their statements upon preliminary investigation, which clearly showed complicity in the case, copies of which were attached and marked Annexure NDLEA 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 respectively.

The court hinted that the investigation would take some time, as complicated dimensions were unfolding in the case that would require follow-up and might extend to foreign countries, where some persons linked to the trans-national drug deals reside.

“It is in line with the above that the applicant has applied to the court for a period of 14 days in the first instance to detain the respondents to enable it carry out its investigation successfully.”

In her ruling, Justice Abubakar granted the NDLEA’s prayer and directed that the agency to either seek extension, file a charge against the suspects or arraign them in court at the expiration of the 14-day detention order.

Kyari and the four other police officers were arrested and handed over to NDLEA on Monday, February 14, 2022 by police authorities, five hours after the agency declared him wanted in connection with the drug deal.