It’s unfair for NDLEA to spare Abba Kyari, parade De General, Zinoleesky, others, says HURIWA
Condemns alleged ‘area boys’ attack on NDLEA officers, deaths in Lagos
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, expressed dissatisfaction over what it called, the discriminatory practice of parading suspects in the operations of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Expressing its support for the all-out war against barons and traffickers of hard drugs as initiated by the NDLEA chairman, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd), the group, however, urged the anti-narcotics agency, to review the continued illegal parading of drug suspects yet-to-be convicted by any court of law, while leaving certain ‘sacred cows’ unparaded because they are connected to the high and the mighty in the society.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, recalled that the anti-narcotics agency, over the weekend, raided the Lagos Island area and paraded seven drug suspects, claiming it recovered 5,862kg illicit drugs, including ‘Loud and Codeine’.
Also, according to reports, no fewer than five persons were killed and several others injured when NDLEA officers opened fire in the Partey area of Lagos Island.
“Just some days ago, NDLEA officials also arrested and paraded singers Zinoleesky and Mohbad after a midnight raid on their residence in Lagos. This was weeks after the agency arrested fast-rising skit maker, De General, after a raid on his residence in Lagos.
“However, the NDLEA has refused to parade narcotics suspect, Abba Kyari, with the 25kg cocaine, $61,400 and other exhibits recovered from the Deputy Commissioner of Police,” the group noted.
According to HURIWA, the NDLEA is guilty of double standards until the security agents embarrass Kyari by parading him before the media as they do to other suspects or the agency apologies to all the suspects already paraded and then stop the unconstitutional practice, which offends Section 36(5) of the Constitution.
The NDLEA also said it had a damning photo and video evidence to nail Kyari, the suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team, adding that he belonged to a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline.
“HURIWA has noted with significant regret the needless deaths that characterised the weekend raids of the NDLEA officials in the Partey area of Lagos, which resulted in the senseless loss of lives.
“HURIWA further thinks that it amounts to double standards by the NDLEA officials, who have refused to parade Abba Kyari two weeks after his indictment in drug trafficking-related offences but who then quickly paraded the alleged drug dealers in Lagos minutes after their arrest.
“The NDLEA has constantly paraded suspected drug peddlers. The parading of suspects is in itself against the principle of law because of the presumption of innocence.
“However, HURIWA again calls on security agencies to stop parading suspects, particularly when they are yet to be convicted. It is disappointing that despite several pleas to the Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd) led NDLEA, the agency just like all other law enforcement agencies continues to do the illegal practice of parading suspects who are yet to be determined as convicted by the competent courts of law, which has the judicial powers of the Federation as enshrined in Section 6 of the Constitution.
“However, the NDLEA said it arrested and detained the serving Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, over drug-related offences but Nigerians till date aren’t too sure if he was actually arrested, handcuffed or detained as we have been told because NDLEA has refused to parade Abba Kyari apparently because he is a sacred cow.
“The NDLEA must be transparent and allow the principles of fairness and equity to govern its operations. An agency led by a respected leader must lead by example and not behave like the Nigeria Police Force that showed a lack of professionalism in the handling of the Abba Kyari versus Hushpuppi fraud case.
“The police messed up the investigation and delayed the extradition of Abba Kyari to the United States America after he was declared wanted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. it is either NDLEA parades Abba kyari or they apologise and pay damages to all those they paraded previously because what is good for the goose is good for the gander,” the group added.