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NDLEA releases shocking details of Kyari’s drug deals

By Odita Sunday (Abuja) and Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo
15 February 2022   |   4:30 am
Another blight on the country’s battered image came to the fore yesterday, when high-profile police officer, Abba Kyari, was declared wanted for involvement in drug-related deal by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Abba Kyari

• Rights group hails NDLEA
•It’s a tragic end to a glorious era, says Sagay
• He should be charged to court immediately, says Falana
•His lawyer alleges set up

Another blight on the country’s battered image came to the fore yesterday, when high-profile police officer, Abba Kyari, was declared wanted for involvement in drug-related deal by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Already, Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, is facing image problem after the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), America’s federal police and counter intelligence agency fingered him as a culprit in an investigation into the activities of suspected Nigerian Internet fraudster, Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

NDLEA, which released the shocking details, said Kyari was involved in a 25 kilogrammes cocaine deal.

The anti-narcotic agency declared Kyari wanted in a briefing by its Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, at its National Headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

The agency said it declared Kyari wanted after all efforts to get him honour formal invitations for his interrogation failed.

Babafemi said the agency bemoaned a situation where those who were supposed to support current efforts to stem the tide of illicit drug trafficking and abuse were themselves neck deep in the menace.

He expressed regret that some law enforcement agents who should be partners in the pursuit of the Presidents mandate were at the forefront of breaking the law, as they aided drug trafficking in the country.

He stated that with the intelligence at the agency’s disposal, it believes strongly that DCP Kyari is a member of a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug route, 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.”

Babafemi said Kyari tried to compromise NDLEA officials after his team intercepted arrested some traffickers that came into the country from Ethiopia with 25kg of cocaine.

He stated that Kyari 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.

In a sting operation, the NDLEA operatives cooperated with him, which led to his indictment in whole saga.

He explained that Kyari plotted to sale part of the exhibit drugs and share the money with the officials.

“He also brought with him the money from the sale of the 5kg share of the NDLEA team, a total of $61, 400. Our officer, however, preferred to take the money inside his car. Well, the car was wired with sound and video recorders,” he explained, adding that Kyari was declared wanted, having failed to honour the official invitation extended to him.

Consequently, Police authorities arrested Kyari and four other police officers and handed them over to the NDLEA.

A statement by the acting police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, made available to newsmen in Abuja, confirmed the NDLEA’s claim, necessitating their handover to the anti-drug agency.

The police report also indicted DCP Abba Kyari, who had been on suspension for his alleged involvement in a different fraud case being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), for complicity in the allegation of official corruption, tampering with narcotics exhibit and sundry unprofessional conducts that negate the standard administrative and investigative protocols of the Force as well as extant criminal laws.

It is to be emphasised that DCP Abba Kyari’s involvement in these allegation occurred while his suspension from service was subsisting.

“On the strength of the findings of the in-house Police Investigation Panel, the Inspector-General of Police has ordered the immediate arrest and transfer of all the indicted police officers to the NDLEA authorities for conclusive investigation, while appropriate disciplinary actions are also being initiated against them by the Force leadership.

“The concerned officers include DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, ASP John Umoru (at large), Inspector Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu. They have all been, accordingly, handed over today, February 14, 2022 to the NDLEA authorities.”

Former Director of Department of Security, Dennis Amachree, said it pained him that Kyari is slipping deeper and deeper into the quagmire of illegality.

“I have met Kyari on a couple of occasions where I personally congratulated him for his fights and wins against kidnappers. But recent revelations have shown that Kyari must have a split personality.

“This also shows how deep the drug problem is in Nigeria. Kudos to the NDLEA boss and his officers, at least for staying above board.”

However, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), is disappointed.

He said, “I heard it with very big sorrow. I am so sad because he was one of the great heroes of Nigeria public life. His achievement makes me proud of him and whenever we had a serious problem, I call Abba Kyari. This is a big downfall. First, the American application for extradition, which I was against, because I said the man, has served us so much and they should not go and disgrace him in America.

“And just as I was in the middle of that, this bombshell exploded. There is nothing anyone can do. I can’t say anything in his favour. The level of criminality in what he has done now is just so high. It seems he has been doing it consistently; it’s just that we didn’t know. So, it’s a sad story but a very tragic end to a glorious era in our crime bursting and security achievement in the country.”

On the image of the police: “I was listening to various radio stations today and the general impression is that every policeman is involved in this type of thing and that they are doing double dealing and that they are committing crime in private and pretending to be solving crime in the open. It’s a damaging event on the image of the police. It’s a big question on the image of the police.”

The lawyer and human rights campaigner, Femi Falana (SAN), said: “It’s an embarrassing situation and the decision to hand him over to the NDLEA is commendable. The NDLEA, which has already concluded its investigation, will charge him to court as soon as possible so that a lesson can be taught that nobody is above the law in the country and that the culture of impunity will give way to the rule of law.

“The implication of this is that it has confirmed the collapse of the new colonial state. That a serving police officer, who is suspended, would also mobilise police personnel to go and perpetrate drug trafficking, just shows that the system has collapsed and that nobody was monitoring him. He’s always operating like somebody above the law, and this will provide an opportunity for the authority to invite Nigerians to give evidence on the alleged atrocities, particularly extra-judicial killings.

“I met a lawyer that told me today (yesterday) that he has a judgment of N41 million stolen by this guy. So, this is the time for the police authority to implement that judgment, but it’s a sad thing. It would have been a dangerous situation if he were again indicted outside the country because this is an international trafficking ring.

“The Americans are still asking for him. This is a different matter entirely, even if it’s going to take America 50 years, they would pursue a criminal suspect.”

However, his lawyer, Debo Adeleke said it was a set-up. According to Adeleke, it is a lie fabricated against him.

He said: “We know him to be a man of impeccable character. A man that has dedicated his life to the commitment, preventing and to fighting criminality to a stand still.

“No doubt that the man would have stepped on various toes because of the enviable pedigree, knowing full well the nature of the country called Nigeria.

“It’s just like Mr. President said if we don’t win corruption, corruption would win the fight and bring us down. Because of the enviable pedigree of this man, some powerful cartel that wants to destroy him is trying to pull him down.

“The so-called Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), that American called for his extradition, was an aberration of lies and orchestrated calculated attempt to pull him down. Is a simple case of pulling down syndrome. This young man has not only been the best police officer in Nigeria but internationally.

“Barely three years ago, I was in Germany when my personal assistant drew my attention to a CNN report on Abba Kyari being praised by some of his colleagues at the FBI.

“Let us face reality, if he has been involved in drugs, the American government and other countries have a list of drug barons. They might have decided to invite him if was involved in such a thing. America and some European countries will never spare him.

“He would not have lasted in the police force. He has enemies including police officers. Most of them I have worked tirelessly with in solving Nigeria’s problems.
I do not understand what these people want to do with the campaign of calumny. We have not heard of the whole story. This is nothing but a charade of lies.

“He will never be involved in such an act. For all this year, his achievement has become envious. In his class of 40s, he has Excel. But Nigeria is good at fabricating lies that look more credible than truth. I can assure you that this man will be exonerated.”