A Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Mohammed Ajia, on Wednesday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that substances linked to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Abba Kyari, tested positive to cocaine.
Kyari and four Intelligence Response Team (IRT) members of the police – Sunday Ubua, Bawa James, Simon Agirgba and John Nuhu are facing charges bordering on illicit dealing in 21.35kg of cocaine between January 19 and 25, 2022 – an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act. https://ndlea.gov.ng/
The four other co-defendants are police officers belonging to the IRT, a police unit that was being led by Kyari until he was suspended following the fraud charges filed against him in the US last year.
Another Federal High Judge, Inyang Ekwo, in Abuja dismissed Nigeria’s Attorney-General’s request to extradite Kyari to the US due to the ongoing drugs trafficking suit.
But Chibuna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne, who are non-police officers pleaded guilty to the charges of unlawful importation of 21.35kilogrammes of cocaine into Nigeria via the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, Enugu State, on January 19, 2022.
At the resumed trial on Wednesday, Ajia the fourth prosecution witness, said Mr Ubua who headed the IRT team following Kyari’s suspension over links to Internet fraud involving Abbas Ramon in the US, wrote the NDLEA about Messrs Umeibe and Ezenwanne’s arrest with substances suspected to be cocaine.
Ajia while being led in evidence by Joseph Sunday, the prosecuting lawyer, further said the anti-narcotics agency on February 4, took custody of the two drugs traffickers and some powdry substances they were apprehended with on February 4, 2022.
“After the substances were subjected to a test, the results tested 80 percent positive to cocain, while in others, there were traces of cocaine in them, which suggests that the substances must have been adulterated with another substance,” the witness told the court.
Following the no-objection by Kyari’s lawyer, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, and other defence counsel to the “transfer letter” of the IRT to the NDLEA for Messrs Umeibe and Ezenwanne’s custody, the letter was admitted as Exhibit 13.
However, Ajia, while being cross-examined by Ikpeazu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said he was unaware if NDLEA personnel at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, where Messrs Umeibe and Ezenwanne smuggled their drugs into the country, were arrested and prosecuted for failing in their duty.
The witness admitted that the anti-narcotics agency has its operatives at all airports across Nigeria.
“The Airport in Enugu is one of such international airports,” Mr Ajia said while responding to Mr Ikpeazu’s questions.
Justice Emeka Nwite has however fixed October 20 for continuation of trial.