•May spend more days in detention as NDLEA approaches court
•IPOB, ESN behind my travails — Abba Kyari cries out
By Sodiq Oyeleke, Eniola Akinkuotu and Friday Olokor
Provisions of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act have indicated that a former Commander, Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari, may be jailed for life if he’s found guilty of allegations against him.
Declared wanted, arrested
Moments after Kyari was declared wanted by NDLEA, the Nigeria Police Force, through the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, announced Kyari’s arrest.
The agency said the police handed over Kyari to NDLEA at the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigerian Police Force, to the anti-narcotic agency.
It also said the senior cop was caught on camera handing over $61,400 in cash to compromise its operative.
The suspended cop was invited for questioning on February 10 but did not show up or respond, according to the NDLEA.
The senior police officer was earlier suspended after he was implicated by Nigerian influencer Ramon Abbas, known as Hushpuppi, who pleaded guilty to money laundering and other crimes in the United States.
Kyari, who became famous for exposing a string of high-profile crimes in Nigeria, denied the allegations against him.
– Conspiracy: NDLEA accused Kyari of being “a member of a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline”.
– Drug deal: Kyari and four others were allegedly involved in a 25 kilograms Cocaine deal.
– Tampering with drug, evidence: NDLEA claimed Kyari and his team wanted to take 15kg of the cocaine and leave 10kg for the prosecution of the suspects. The purloined cocaine will be replaced with a dummy worth 15kg.
Distribution and sale of cocaine: According to NDLEA, Kyari took 15kg out and shared it between the informants. He gave the informant 7kg while his team took 8kg which was sold. He also sold a 5kg share of the NDLEA team -for $61, 400.
– Influenced law enforcement officer: Kyari was accused of attempting to compromise an NDLEA officer in January by asking him to conceal part of the cocaine haul that was seized from some suspects.
He was said to also pressure on NDLEA officer to wrap up the arrangement with the commander of the FCT Command to take custody of the drug and suspects from his men who were on the ground in Abuja.
What the NDLEA Act says
The NDLEA Act stipulates punishment ranging from jail term, life imprisonment, and property forfeiture for the allegations.
Section 20, Part II, Sub-section 14 of the NDLEA Act recommends a term not less than 15 years and not exceeding 25 years.
Part of the Act reads, “Any person who:
a. Incites, promises or induces any other person by any means whatsoever to commit any of the offences referred to in this Act: or
b. Conspires with, aids, abets, counsels, attempts to commit or is an accessory to any act or offence referred to in this Act.
Shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not less than fifteen years and not exceeding 25 years.
Tampering with drug
Any person who unlawfully removes, conceals, destroys or in any way tampers with the drug popularly known as cocaine, LSD, heroine or any other similar drug seized from any person or otherwise in the possession of the Agency or any authorized person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and
liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years.
Sale and distribution
1. Any person who, without lawful authority (the proof of which shall lie on him) commits any of the following offences, that is to say
a. Engages in the production, manufacture, extraction preparation, offering for sale, distribution, sale, delivery on any terms whatsoever, brokerage, dispatch, dispatch in transit, transportation, importation or exportation of any narcotic drug or any psychotropic substance contrary to the provisions of the 1961 Convention and its
Protocols, or the 1971 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances 1989.
f. Engages in the manufacture, transportation or distribution of equipment, materials or of any substance listed in the Second Schedule to this Act knowing that such
equipment, material or substance are to be used in or for the illicit cultivation, production or manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances;
g. Engages in the management, organization or financing of any of the offences under paragraphs (a) to (f) of this subsection
2. The penalties for offences under subsection (1) of this section shall
a. In respect of an offence under paragraphs (a), (b), (d), (e), (f), and (h), be imprisonment for life
For the avoidance of doubt and without any further assurance than this Act, all the properties of a person convicted of an offence under this Act and already the subject of an interim order shall be
forfeited to the Federal Government.
May spend more days in detention as NDLEA approaches court
Meanwhile, the embattled Kyari, and four others may spend more time in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency as the NDLEA has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja informing the court of its intention to detain the suspects beyond the stipulated 48 hours.
According to report the NDLEA has already begun a forensic analysis of the cocaine seized by Kyari.
A top source at the agency, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to speak with the press, said the cop had made some revelations which would lead to more investigations and as such, the NDLEA would not be able to arraign him just yet.
He said, “Kyari has made some revelations which will lead to more investigations. Also, the NDLEA is doing a forensic analysis of some of the cocaine recovered by Kyari since he claimed in a video that he replaced cocaine with a dummy one.
“So, the agency has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja notifying the court of our intention to interrogate him further and verify some of his claims.”
Kyari was arrested by the police on Monday for alleged drug trafficking and handed over to the NDLEA along with four others – Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu. Another officer, ASP John Umoru, is said to be at large.
The DCP, who was suspended by the police last July for his alleged links to international fraudster, Hushpuppi, was caught on video during a sting operation by the NDLEA attempting to sell part of the cocaine which was seized from some drug dealers in Enugu, while his suspension was subsisting.
IPOB, ESN behind my travails — Abba Kyari
Abba Kyari, has claimed that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) are behind his travails.
Kyari made this claim when he appeared before a probe panel led by Joseph Egbunike, a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, according to a report obtained by Daily Trust.
In a report submitted by the panel to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, which was in turn forwarded to the Police Service Commission (PSC), Kyari said the outlawed IPOB and its armed wing were after him due to the onslaught launched against them in the South East.
Kyari, who did not deny violating social media rules of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), was berated by the panel for the fact that the officer had been warned against the same practice previously.
“It is a campaign to smear his reputation by members of IPOB/ESN who vowed to destroy him, due to his onslaught against them in the South East,” the embattled ‘super cop’ was quoted to have said in the report.
But the panel, which faulted his claim, saying it is watery, ordered his demotion from the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police to Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Efforts to reach the Police Service Commission to find out whether it jettisoned the report on Kyari proved abortive.
Several calls made across to the mobile phone of the commission’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, were unanswered. He also did he respond to a text message sent to him.Similarly, the acting spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force, Muyiwa Adejobi, did not answer calls nor responded to text messages when Daily Trust sought clarifications on the allegations that the force wants to protect Kyari.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police and members of the Force Management Team, on Wednesday visited the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, in his office at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja.
The reason for his visit, according to a senior officer, was not unconnected with Kyari’s case but the Force in a statement said the visit was aimed at solidifying the synergy between the Police and the Judiciary as key players in the Criminal Justice System of the nation with a view to ensuring a smooth and efficient dispensation of justice.
Credit | Punch, Daily Trust