Though a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, refused to grant his application for bail, suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari, says the allegation linking him to an international drug cartel by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is untrue.
Kyari disclosed this in an affidavit in support of his motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/182/22 and filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, by his lawyer, C. O. Ikena.
The affidavit, dated Feb. 16 and filed Feb. 17, was deposed to by Kyari’s younger brother, Muhammad Usman.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kyari, who was former head of the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), had filled the application to seek for his fundamental rights enforcement.
In the document, Kyari, who described the allegation as “trump-up,” said the NDLEA had failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
Usman, in his deposition, said: “The applicant (Kyari) is a Deputy Commissioner of Police formerly attached to F1B-1RT, Abuja.
“That the respondent is Federal Republic of Nigeria represented by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Abuja.
“That a suspect has been shipping in drugs (cocaine) to Nigeria from Ethiopia using all the Airports in Nigeria with the knowledge of the NDLEA officers.
“That usually, NDLEA officers cleared him and even escorted him from the airport to his destination.
“That on that fateful day, the suspect as usual shipped drugs (cocaine) from Ethiopia to Enugu Airport, and the officers of NDLEA cleared him within the airport and escorted him out of the airport.
“Then officers of FIB-IRT arrested the suspect with the help of an information.
“That before the Informant accepted to work with the officers of FIB-IRT, they both had an agreement to compensate the Informant.
“That officers of FIB-IRT having noticed that officers of NDLEA were the ones clearing the said suspect with his drugs (cocaine), they immediately took the suspect to NDLEA and also reported those officers involved in the act,” he averred.
Usman said instead of the NDLEA to handle the matter accordingly and bring the officers involved to book, they decided to frustrate the Informant thereby refusing to compensate the informant.
“That it was at this juncture that the attention of the DCP Abba Kyari was called, whom because the NDLEA officer involved is his friend.
“And he (Kyari) decided to intervene for the purpose of compensating the Informant.
“That the NDLEA officer, who refused to compensate the Informant, was the one who framed DCP Abba Kyari up on a trump-up allegation that he was trying to bribe him.
“That the agent of the respondent (NDLEA) declared the applicant wanted because of a mere allegation that he was trying to bribe an NDLEA officer without sufficient proof,” he added.
He said it was based on the allegation that the Nigerian Police Force arrested him and handed him over to the NDLEA.
That the Applicant is being kept in custody since Feb. 12.
He said Kyari had been kept in custody since his arrest on Feb. 12 without having access to his medical treatment.
Usman averred that his arrest and continued detention was an infringement on his fundamental human rights.
“That the allegation upon which the applicant is arrested and detained is a trump-up allegation without sufficient proof,” he said.
He described Kyari as “a decent police officer who has distinguished himself in arreas of serving his father’s land as a police officer.”
According to him, the applicant has risked his life in so many areas of serving and protecting his father land as a police officer.
“That the applicant needs to be compensated and not to be dragged about, receiving torture, degrading and inhuman treatment by anybody or agency whatsoever.
“That there is no sufficient proof that the applicant has committed any offence to warrant this torture, degrading and inhuman treatment,” he said.
Usman averred that all the efforts made for the agency to grant his elder brother administrative bail proved abortive.
“That faced with the above situation and scenario, the applicant has no option than to bring this application pursuant to Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria seeking redress from the court against the respondent.
“That the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has not made out a prima-facie case against the applicant,” he added.
He said Kyari was ready to appear in court to answer any charge against him.
Usman, who said that Kyari’s fundamental rights would continue to be infringed upon by the NDLEA if the court did not intervene, urged the court to grant the application for bail in the interest of justice.
“That he has a liable surety who is in court,” he said.
Justice Ekwo, who fixed Feb. 24 for the hearing of the motion, ordered that the NDLEA be put on notice.
He, thereafter, adjourned the matter until April 24 for the motion to be taken.
Earlier, Justice Inyang Ekwo, who declined to grant Kyari’s plea for bail in a motion ex-parte ordered that the respondent, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), be put on notice.
When the matter was called, Ikena informed the court that she had an ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/182/22 before the court.
She said the motion sought a bail for her client on health ground.
“I filed a motion to admit the applicant to a bail on health grant pending the determination of the substantive matter,” she said.
Justice Ekwo then asked: “Where is the applicant?”
“He is at the NDLEA’s custody my lord,” she responded.
The judge then asked the lawyer what the substantive matter was all about and she said: “The substantive matter is about infringement on his fundamental rights and false allegations.”
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 of the NDLEA.
“But my lord, his (Kyari’s) condition at the custody is critical,” she said.
Justice Ekwo, however, insisted that the NDLEA be put on notice.
The judge adjourned the matter until April 24 for the motion to be taken.
He also ordered the NDLEA to file their response before the next adjourned date.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government has on Feb. 14, declared Kyari wanted over alleged links with an international drug cartel.
Femi Babafemi, spokesperson of the NDLEA, had announced the development, in a press briefing.
Babafemi said the anti-drug agency decided to declare Kyari wanted because he did not honour the invitation sent to him.
NAN reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had indicted Kyari of conspiring with Hushpuppi, self-confessed international fraudster, in a $1.1 million scam.
The suspended police officer had denied the allegation, claiming that his “hands are clean”.
NAN also reports that the Nigeria Police on Feb. 14, arrested Kyari and four other police officers for their involvement in an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, discreditable, unethical, and unprofessional conduct.
Others are official corruption and tampering with exhibits in a case of illicit drug trafficking involving a transnational drug cartel.
The arrest of Kyari and others came after the NDLEA declared him wanted on Monday.
The police then handed Kyari and others involved in the alleged offence to the NDLEA.
“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,” acting police spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi, had said.
Adejobi said interim investigations report showed that two international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on Jan. 19, 2022, upon their arrival from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET917.
“The arrest led to the recovery of a 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).
▪︎ Reports by NAN