Drug Traffickers Arrested By Police IRT And Officially Transferred To NDLEA Have Been Released Just after 16 Months In Prison

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12 Min Read

By Adekunle Thomas, CEDEHUR

We want to draw the attention of the public to the desecration of the judicial power, abuse of office and deliberate manipulation of the public that there’s war against drug trafficking.

Just today, we learnt of the release of two convicted drug traffickers arrested by Police IRT and transferred to NDLEA namely Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, who through an intentioned plea bargain, were sentenced to six years in prison, 2yrs for each of the 3 counts.

Both Umeibe and Ezenwanne were arrested by the men of the Inspector General of Police called Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in connection to 21.25kg of cocaine in January 2022.

They had brought in the cocaine from Brazil through Ethiopia to Nigeria, through the Enugu Airport.

The police acting on intelligence moved in and arrested the men with the contraband after they were cleared by Conniving Officers in the Enugu Airport and moved them to Abuja.

Despite repeated pleas by the drug traffickers who offered large sums of money in addition to telling the police IRT to take the drugs, the police refused to Compromise and insisted on due process and prosecution.

After obtaining voluntary confession, recorded video confessions and making of necessary entry at the police office in Abuja, the police subsequently moved the men and the seized suspected cocaine to the office of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and handed them over to the agency for further investigation without exposing the activities of the NDLEA Officers in Enugu Airport to the Media, who the Drug traffickers clearly indicted for conniving with International drug Cartel members in bringing heavy drugs several times into Nigeria Via the Enugu International Airport.

Trouble started when the NDLEA deliberately set up the police to implicate them because of the powerful forces behind the illegal drug import, who were aggrieved that their operations were busted by the Police IRT.

While the case is in court to prove the innocence or culpability of the police officers on whether or not they tampered with parts of the drugs they seized and transferred to the NDLEA, we would reserve further details.

But suffice to raise key posers for the public to know because it borders on illegality, naked exercise of power especially from the powers that be and an abuse of the court process.

Having carefully explored key facts and the legal processes we are forced to state that, this is no longer a quest for justice but a clear case of dancing the beating of the drum being drummed by someone behind the scene, which amounts to vendetta.

The affected police officers have been in prison without bail for more than 15 months now on bailable allegations as the law provided. What are the issues? Deliberate use of judicial power to deny them bail despite repeated assurances that these are known men home and abroad that would not flee especially with their international passports will be in possession of the court.

Again, the Application of the Criminal Justice Act calls for specific application of procedures in determining any case alleged to be criminal in nature.

Section 396 (3) provides that upon arraignment of a defendant, trial shall proceed from day-to- day until the conclusion of the trial.

According to Sub section (4) of that section, it says “Where day-to-day trial is impracticable after arraignment, no party shall be entitled to more than five adjournments from arraignment to final judgement provided that the interval between each adjournment shall not exceed 14 working days.”

Subsection (5) says “Where it is impracticable to conclude a criminal proceeding after the parties have exhausted their five adjournments each, the interval between one adjournment to another shall not exceed seven days inclusive of weekends”

It leaves one to wonder why the judge has allowed a long period of adjournment several, sometimes more than two months in a total of more than five adjournments already.

It really begs the question as to what the target of the prosecution is.

The Center for Democracy and Human Rights views this as not only an assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians but on the sanctity of the court as well as deliberate manipulation to hide the key actors behind these convicted felons who were caught by the Police IRT red handed trafficking drugs into the country.

If the ACJA provides for accelerated hearing and its Guidelines, why have there been many long adjournments in such a manner that is far behind the recommended time frame?

CEDEHUR makes bold to say that there’s more to this judicial process. Is the insinuation that there’s a finger of the Independent People of Biafra in this true? Who’s an IPOB apologist in this case? The Super Cop who fought and demystified the Armed IPOB fighters killing Police officers and other innocent Nigerians and burning Police stations all across Southeast didn’t take himself to the Southeast but was officially Ordered by the Police highest Authority to Proceed to Southeast and defend those Police Officers/Police Stations/Innocent Citizens in the Southeast and defeated the heavily armed attackers.

Or is it truly a fact that the Druglord whom these convicted drug traffickers work for is so powerful that he’s manipulating the NDLEA whom the drug Traffickers confessed in writing and on video that they are on his payroll?

Is that why he was never arrested or declared wanted notwithstanding his name, phone number and address was given to NDLEA. Or is the Big baron indirectly manipulating the judicial process especially as he has not been arrested despite the voluntary confession from the convicts? We have also seen how the Big Baron indirectly manipulated his ways for the confessed multiple drug traffickers to be released in Prison after just 16 months.

We ask again, why has the sponsor of these drug traffickers not been arrested? Why are Big Drug Barons like Mallison Ukatu, Chief Ugoh etc arrested and announced to the world through NDLEA Press releases in 2022 for bringing in 22 billion and 8.9 billion Naira Drugs respectively into Nigeria are free after few months in custody and have all gone to their Families and Churches for ThanksGiving.

Nigerians must ask the questions because testimonies from these felons include name, contact address, phone number, dates and manner of operations in which they undertake drug trafficking for this highly placed person, who was never arrested or declared wanted.

Nigerians are asking why were the indicted NDLEA officers in Enugu Airport officially requested by the Police not handed over to the Police upto today?

We add that the NDLEA knows those collaborating with drug cartels much as they know the convicted felons were just accessories. Umeibe and Ezenwanne confessed in court that their pictures are sent to the NDLEA operatives in Enugu for easy clearance whenever they return with drugs and that was why they always pass with heavy drugs in their carry on bags many times through the Enugu Airport before Police IRT Arrested them at the Airport Car Park on the 19/1/2022.

So who are those helping them pass through the airport? Who are those international drug cartels that they mentioned to be collaborating with NDLEA which the NDLEA refused to arrest for obvious reasons?

In fact during cross examination in Court, these convicted felons expressed disappointment with the police for not accepting their Pleas of collecting the drug and money to free them. They added that assuming the police IRT accepted their Plea in Enugu and also in IRT Office Abuja to take the drug and money and free them. they would have been freed that day and no one would have known about this case.

Interestingly, no police officer was indicted as part of the drug cartel. As the Police IRT were the ones that solely arrested the drug traffickers and refused to compromise and voluntarily transferred the traffickers and drugs to NDLEA.

The fact we got is that the drug lord behind Umeibe and Ezenwanne has not been arrested or declared wanted because he will expose the NDLEA operatives right at the top down to the ones in Enugu Airport that were colluding with him, if he is arrested.

It’s interesting therefore to note that freeing Umeibe and Ezenwanne is to allow them to go back to their drug business while the police who arrested them, refused to compromise with them and transferred them to NDLEA are still being held in prison.

The public must also note that both Umeibe and Ezenwanne confessed in open Court that the 21.25kg was not tampered with by the Police anywhere in their presence and final Authentic Scientific test done at the NDLEA Lagos lab has also discredited the 17kg the NDLEA is claiming was tempered, the authentic test result is with the Court records. All these contradicted the complete falsehood and deceptive media trial embarked upon by the NDLEA.

One wonders therefore if it’s only the anger of the drug lord that his operation was busted that’s the cause of this seemingly miscarriage of justice.

We call on the NDLEA to do the needful and arrest the face behind these two drug traffickers among others or declare him wanted, as all the details of the Big Barons were given to them by the convicted drug traffickers.

We also call on the judge to adhere to the judicial process as provided by law and the ACJA instead of acting as if it’s a vendetta.


Adekunle Thomas
Executive Director

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