By Isaac Olamilekan
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, presided over by Justice Zainab Dimka Abubakar, has granted application by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to detain the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari and six others under investigation for their involvement in a 25 kilogrammes cocaine deal for two weeks.
The court gave the order following the application by the anti-narcotic agency, which was argued by its Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Mr. Sunday Joseph on Tuesday.
The agency had in the application dated February 15, 2022 – in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/111/2022, sought the leave of the court to detain the suspects in NDLEA custody for 14 days pending the conclusion of investigation.
Suspects affected by the order include: DCP Abba Kyari; ACP Sunday Ubia; ASP James Bawa; Inspector Simon Agirigba; Inspector John Nuhu; Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne.
In an affidavit supporting the motion, the NDLEA stated that the 6th and 7th respondents (Umeibe and Ezenwanne) confessed upon their arrest in Enugu that they imported the seized cocaine through Addis-Ababa to Enugu on January 19, 2022.
It further disclosed that “the 1st to 5th respondents (Kyari, Ubia, Bawa, Agirigba and Nuhu) are police officers who carried out the arrest of the 6th and 7th respondents and transferred them to NDLEA for further investigation.
“That investigation by the NDLEA revealed that the 1st to 5th respondents have compromised the whole operation and were involved in the importation, trafficking, and dealing and also tampered with the recovered cocaine.
“That the 1st to 5th respondents have volunteered their statements upon preliminary investigation, which has shown complicity in the case. Copies of statements are hereby attached and marked Annexure NDLEA 4,5,6,7,8, & 9 respectively.
“That the investigation will take some time as there are complicated dimensions of the case that require follow-up and unravelling. That the investigation is likely to extend to foreign countries, where some people linked to this trans-national drug trafficking activities reside.
“That it is in line with the above that the Applicant is applying to the Honourable 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 Zainab Dimka Abubakar granted the NDLEA’s prayer and directed that the agency should at the expiration of the 14 days detention order either seek an extension, file a charge against the suspects or arraign them before the court.
Kyari and the four other police officers were arrested and handed over to NDLEA on Monday 14th February by police authorities, five hours after the agency had declared him wanted in connection with the drug deal.