By Edward Adamidenyo, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Inspector General of Police on Monday ordered the immediate transfer of embattled DCP Abba Kyari and four other police officers to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for conspiracy and tampering with exhibits.
Kyari who was arrested yesterday after he was declared wanted by the NDLEA was slammed by the Police for involvement in alleged case of criminal conspiracy, discreditable, unethical, and unprofessional conduct, official corruption and tampering with the exhibits of illicit drug trafficking involving a transnational drug cartel.
The arrest of the officers followed information received from the leadership of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on 10th February, 2022.
Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said in a statement in Abuja.
The statement said the Inspector General of Police (IGP), has also ordered the immediate transfer of the case to NDLEA.
He also charged the NDLEA to investigate indicted officers of the agency.
CSP Adejobi identified the arrested officers as DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, ASP John Umoru (at large), Inspr. Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu.
He noted that they have all been, accordingly, handed over today 14th February, 2022 to the NDLEA authorities.
According to the statement, “In line with standard administrative procedure of the Force, the Inspector General of Police ordered a high-level, discreet, and in-house investigation into the allegations. The interim investigations report revealed that two (2) international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on the 19th of January, 2022 upon their arrival from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET917. The arrest led to the recovery of substantial quantity of powdery substance suspected to be cocaine from the two narcotic couriers. The operation which was intelligence-driven, was undertaken by a Unit of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
“Although the case and the two suspects were subsequently transferred to the NDLEA on the 25th January, 2022, the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the Inspector General of Police established reasonable grounds for strong suspicion that the IRT officers involved in the operation could have been involved in some underhand and unprofessional dealings as well as official corruption which compromised ethical standards in their dealings with the suspects and exhibits recovered”.
The statement also said that, “beyond this, the Police investigation also established that the international narcotics cartel involved in this case have strong ties with some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu who are on their pay roll. The two arrested drug couriers confirmed that the modus is for the transnational drug barons to conspire with the NDLEA officers on duty and send them their pre-boarding photographs for identification, seamless clearance, and unhindered passage out of the airport with the narcotics being trafficked.
The two arrested drug couriers also confirmed that they have been enjoying this relationship with the NDLEA officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 2021 and had in this instant case of 19th January, 2022, been identified and cleared by the NDLEA officers as customary, having received their pre-departure photographs and other details prior to their arrival in Enugu, and were on their way out with the narcotics when they were apprehended by the Police”.
Adejobi disclosed that the police investigation 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 statement further said.
The Inspector General of Police has also formally requested that the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency should ensure the identification, arrest and investigation of the Agency’s officers who have also been found to be colluding with the international drug cartel involved in this case towards advancing the anti-narcotics agenda of the federal Government.
The Police Chief assured the public of his administration’s commitment to upholding the tenets and values of policing in line with the agenda of ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standard, enhancement of the anti-corruption drive, respect for the rule of law and inter-agency collaboration in the drive to stabilise the internal security order of the country.
DCP Kyari was nabbed hours after the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency declared him wanted for alleged drug trafficking.
The celebrity super cop who is under probe for alleged collaboration with and international fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, was picked along side four others.
The Trumpet learnt that DCP Kyari was handcuffed like a common criminal, when he was nabbed by the Police.
The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency had earlier declared DCP Abba Kyari wanted over alleged drug trafficking.
NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, had at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, disclosed how Kyari belonged to a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline.
He further revealed that Kyari contacted one of its officers in Abuja and struck a deal to secure the release of a total of 25kg seized cocaine.
Babafemi said, “After the Agency gave the officer the green light to play along, he and Kyari began a WhatsApp call for the rest of the day. The officer conveyed “their” willingness to play the game.”
Recall that the Police Service Commission, last week deferred decision on the case involving suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba A. Kyari, who until his suspension by the Commission was the Officer in charge of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Head, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani in a statement said Kyari had earlier been indicted by a Report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States and was also investigated by a special Panel set up by the Inspector General of Police.
The Report he said had earlier been forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for legal advice by the Inspector General of Police.
The Commission also directed that further necessary investigation should take half the time it took the Police to conduct the original investigation and that the investigation should be carried out by a different panel.
The Commission took the decision at the continuation of its 14th Plenary Meeting which ended in Abuja on Thursday, February 11th 2022 and which was chaired by Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police and Chairman of the Commission.