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Lawyer says Abba Kyari in ‘critical condition’ in NDLEA custody

By Dennis Erezi
21 February 2022   |   1:12 pm
A lawyer to Abba Kyari, a Nigerian deputy commissioner of police arrested on drug charges, told an Abuja court on Monday that the police officer is in "critical" condition. Kyari, already suspended from the police over his alleged involvement in a fraud case, took the NDLEA to court over his detention. His lawyer, Cynthia Ikena…
Abba Kyari

[FILES] Nigeria police officer Abba Kyari PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ABBA KYARI

A lawyer to Abba Kyari, a Nigerian deputy commissioner of police arrested on drug charges, told an Abuja court on Monday that the police officer is in “critical” condition.

Kyari, already suspended from the police over his alleged involvement in a fraud case, took the NDLEA to court over his detention.

His lawyer, Cynthia Ikena said the allegations against his client were false and pleaded with the court to order his immediate release from the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency or grant him bail.

Ikena said the need to grant Kyari bail was due to his deteriorating health.

READ MORE: NDLEA declares Abba Kyari member of international drug cartel

“I filed a motion to admit the applicant to a bail on health grant pending the determination of the substantive matter,” she told Justice Inyang Ekwo of Federal High Court, Abuja.

But the court refused to grant the bail request. Ikena was instead directed to put the NDLEA on notice and the case adjourned till April 24 when the motion will be taken.

Justice Ekwo told the lawyer that going by the averments in the application, the respondent (NDLEA) would have to be put on notice and a date fixed to hear the motion.

He said this was so because the averment Ikena made would need a response from the NDLEA.

“But my lord, his (Kyari’s) condition at the custody is critical,” she said.

READ MORE: Court refuses to order release of Abba Kyari from NDLEA custody

Justice Ekwo, however, insisted that the NDLEA be put on notice.

NDLEA declared Kyari, a former head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), wanted last Monday, accusing him of being a member of an international drug cartel.

“With the intelligence at our disposal, the Agency believes strongly that DCP Kyari is a member of a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline, and he needs to answer questions that crop up in an ongoing drug case in which he is the principal actor. His failure to cooperate forced the hand of the Agency and that is the reason for this press briefing,” NDLEA spokesman told journalists in Abuja.

NDLEA explained that “Kyari initiated a call to one of the NDLEA officers in Abuja at 2:12 pm. When the officer returned the call two minutes later, Kyari informed him he was coming to see him, to discuss an operational matter after the Juma’at service.

“He proposed a drug deal whereby he and his team are to take 15kg of the cocaine and leave 10kg for the prosecution of the suspects arrested with the illicit drug in Enugu.

“In the meantime, the purloined cocaine will be replaced with a dummy worth 15kg. He asked the NDLEA officer to persuade men of the FCT Command, to play along as well.”

News Agency of Nigeria contributed to this report.