Abba Kyari: How NDLEA agents assisted us to cross Enugu airport with drugs- witness

Posted admin News 178 Views 13 Min Read
13 Min Read

 

Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)’s witness in the trial of DCP Abba Kyari and others, on Thursday, indicted the operatives of the agency stationed at the Enugu International Airport.

Ezenwanne made the disclosure during a cross examination by counsel for Kyari and two others, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

Ezenwanne and Chibunna Patrick Umeibe were the two drug traffickers who smuggled cocaine into the country from Ethiopia through Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu and were arrested by Police IRT outside Enugu Airport after they were cleared by NDLEA officers they confessed to have paid, on 19/1/2022 and officially transferred to NDLEA with the drugs on 25/1/2022.

They were convicted and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment on plea bargain after they pleaded guilty to the three counts preferred against them by the NDLEA.

Justice Nwite had ordered that the three counts, which attracted two-year jail terms each, would run concurrently following their rediculus plea bargain agreement with the anti-narcotic agency.

They also agreed to stand as NDLEA’s witness in the trial of the five police officers of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector-General of Police headed by Kyari.

Other police officers include ACP Sunday Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp John Nuhu who are 2nd to 5th defendants respectively.

However, the Police officers all pleaded not guilty to the charges of alleged tempering with the exhibits they recovered from the Drug traffickers they arrested themselves and transferred to NDLEA.

At the resumed trial, Convict Ezenwanne said though he was not a drug dealer, he had only smuggled drugs into Nigeria on two occasions.

When Ikpeazu SAN asked him if he had ever heard about NDLEA before he was arrested on Jan. 19 by the men of the Police, he responded in affirmative.

Witness Convict Ezenwanne admitted that before he travelled to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, he knew that the NDLEA operatives were stationed at all international airports to prevent drugs from being trafficked into the country.

“On the two occasions you brought drugs into Nigeria, were you arrested or stopped by NDLEA officers from bringing those drugs into Nigeria?” the senior lawyer asked

“No,” Ezenwanne who was the sixth prosecution witness, responded.

He said he had never tasted or tested cocaine before, and that he did not weigh the two bags of cocaine (Exhibits 7 and 8) delivered to him before he brought them into the country.

He said on his way from Addis Ababa, he had in his possession 400 dollars and N11, 000; his international passport, his bag with two or three clothes, his ticket and his phone gadget.

“When you got to the Enugu International Airport (on Jan. 19), did you see the COVID-19 agents (the NCDC officers) and Immigration agents?” Ikpeazu SAN asked and he responded in affirmative.

“You saw other agents who directed you to a private room to search your bags?” the lawyer also asked.

Ezenwanne said: “Yes, I saw them (the agents); two men who directed me to a table for searching.”

He said when he was in Addis Ababa, the drug barons who handed him the bags of cocaine took his photograph.

When the lawyer then asked if the reason for taking his picture was to send it to those who would clear him at the point of entry in Nigeria, the convict said he didn’t know why they did that.

Ikpeazu SAN therefore applied for the statement Ezenwanne made at the NDLEA office on Jan. 25 and read a part in the open court where the witness/Convict said: “The moment I received the stuff (cocaine) from my people, they will take my picture which they will send to the NDLEA Agents who will clear way for me at the Enugu International Airport.”

When the lawyer further asked him if it was the statement he made, Ezenwanne said: “It is the statement I made. What I said before in my statement was not the same as what I said in court.”

Justice Nwite then admitted the Jan. 25 statement in evidence and marked it as Exhibit 15.

Ezenwanne admitted that he was told by the barons that he would need to have some money with him for “those people that will search his bag.”

He said he gave the agents at the airport N10, 000 to clear him before the police IRT officers arrested him outside the Enugu Airport.

Ezenwanne admitted that after they were arrested, they “They pleaded with the police to pervert justice by taking all the cocaine in order to allow them go” but the IRT Officers led by ASP James Bawa the 3rd Dependant rejected the Offer and stood their ground not to compromise with them.

“If they had let you go you would not have been angry with them, would you?” Ikpeazu SAN asked.
.
“No, why should I be angry with them,” he responded.

The senior lawyer also asked him if he had ever had any interaction with Abba Kyari, the 1st defendant, throughout his ordeal or at any time during his life time, and he said, “no.”

Contrary to what Mohammed Ajia, the 4th prosecution witness and the Commander, FCT Command, said on Wednesday that 80 percent of the substance tested positive while about 20 percent did not but still have Concaine inside, Ezenwanne who was not aware of the fact that NDLEA’S Superior Laboratory test results have later confirmed that 87.5 percent that is 19kg of what the Police IRT handed over to NDLEA tested positive as pure Cocain and 12.5 percent which is about 2kg tested Negative without mentioning what type of chemical made the 2kg. The Witness/Convicts without knowledge of latest Superior test results mentioned Above which Court have already received 2 months ago and nullified the former field test result, when ahead to mention the former wrong result of the field test that says 17.5kg which represents about 83 per cent of the substance did not test cocaine after the police handed them to the anti-narcotic agency.

Ezenwanne also said he had never had any interaction with ACP Ubua, the 2nd defendant in the matter.

Earlier when he was being led in evidence by NDLEA’s lawyer, Joseph Sunday, Ezenwanne identified in the open court ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu who are 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants respectively as the Police officers who arrested him and investigated his case..

When Sunday, who is the director of Legal and Prosecution NDLEA, asked him what led him to Suleja Prison, Ezenwanne said: “What happened was that on Jan 15, 2022, I travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring cocaine with the help of one Iwolabi from Brazil.

“So on Jan 16, around 8:30 pm Ethiopian time, the flight coming from Brazil arrived. Few minutes later, they called me on the phone.

“The first person that called me was Alhaji. He called me and asked where I was. I told him to meet me at the airport lounge.

“He came and handed me over six sachets of cocaine in white cotton and left.

“The second person called me, his name is Ota and asked me the same question which I asked him to meet me at the lounge.

“And he came and handed me four sachets of cocaine in white cotton, making the sum total of 10 sachets of cocaine.

“Then he snapped me, with his phone and left.,” he said.

According to him, before that time, my second, Chibunna was there before me.

“So, we met there and he had already received his own (cocaine packs),” he said.

He said on Jan. 19 around 8am, they boarded a flight going to Enugu International Airport.

“When we arrived at Enugu International Airport, I was the first person to come out of the airport. I stood at the car park waiting for my second to come out.

“When he was coming towards me, one woman and two men intercepted him.

“When I looked at them, it seemed that they were having an argument. As I came towards them to know what was happening, there was one car, a Siena, parked there.

“As I got there, some men jumped out of the car with guns. What I hear was that ‘I did not see this one (that is me).'”

“As they held me, I shouted ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Is this how it is going to end?’ As they grabbed me and my second, they brought out their jackets with inscription IRT.

“They shared it among themselves and wore it. That was when we knew they were police men.

“Because of the noise we made at the airport, people gathered, they pushed us inside that car and drove us out of the airport,” he narrated

He said ASP James Bawa 3rd defendant led the team that arrested them.

Ezenwanne said despite all the offers of taking all the Cocain drugs and later money plus the Cocain, they decided to give the police officers to free them, the IRT police officers led by ASP James Bawa 3rd defendant rejected the offers and refused to listen to them.

“As it was happening, my second, Chibunna, Also begged them to leave us and carry those stuff (cocaine). But they refused again.

The witness said the police officers contacted their boss and they were asked to transfer them to Abuja.

“So they took us in one car, a Toyota Camry, with one woman, three men.

“We left Enugu around 3:30pm, when we were moving on the way, we continued begging them.

“The team leader said we should shut up and that if we talk again that he would deal with us..

“So we closed our mouths, continue praying to God,” he said.

Ezenwanne said all these happened before they were brought to Abuja, Later taken to court in Abuja the next day but they were brought back to IRT office that their Boss Said they should transfer us to NDLEA and they called a Journalist who did Video interview for us and the Cocain and subsequently on 25/1/2022 they handed over myself and Chibunna Patrick with the Drugs, phones, international passports to the NDLEA for more investigation and prosecution.

Share this Article
Posted by admin
Follow:
A group of seasoned crime reporters drawn from reputable media organisations in Nigeria. To help in creating a friendly Nigerian Police Force that meets the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens towards policing and security of lives and properties. To showcase the positive sides of the Force, as well as celebrating the great feat of police personnel, who have shown uncommon courage in the discharge of his / her responsibility. In the same vein, through objective ratiocination, identify the areas of shortcomings for corrections. We welcome you on board on this journey to build an enviable Nigeria Police Force by actively playing the role of a watch dog. Watch out for crime stories and other security titbits.
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *