Abba Kyari: “I Don’t Know Whether NDLEA Operatives at Enugu Airport Were Arrested — NDLEA Commander

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The fourth Prosecution Witness of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in the trial of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari and four others, on Wednesday, told a Federal High Court, Abuja, that he cannot tell whether operatives of the NDLEA at the Enugu International Airport, who allowed two now Convicted drug traffickers arrived the country before the Police IRT arrested them outside the Enugu Airport, have been arrested and prosecuted.

 

The 4th witness, Mr Mohammed Ajia, who is the Commander, of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the NDLEA, made the clarification under cross examination by Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, counsel to the 1st, 4th and 5th defendants.

The NDLEA, is prosecuting Kyari and four officers of the Inspector General of Police’ Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT) on allegations bordering on tampering with hard drugs seized from two Drug traffickers arrested by the Police IRT team at the Enugu International Airport and Officially transferred to NDLEA with the exhibits.

The Police IRT team that arrested the drug traffickers and recovered the Drugs were arraigned in February 2022, alongside the two drug traffickers they arrested, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.

Both the 2 Drug Traffickers arrested by Police IRT and Transferred to NDLEA pleaded guilty to the charge of bringing drugs into Nigeria and have since been sentenced to 2 years in prison through a rediculus Plea bargain with NDLEA to pacify the Drug traffickers and make them stop indicting the NDLEA in Enugu Airport and testify against the Police officers that arrested and transferred them to NDLEA the way NDLEA wants them to.

But Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu who are 1st to 5th defendants respectively, pleaded not guilty to the charge of tampering with the drugs they recovered from the Drug traffickers they arrested and officially transferred to NDLEA together with the drugs exhibits.

The defendants who have continued to maintain their innocence of the allegations have accused NDLEA officials, particularly the ones at the Enugu International Airport of conniving with the arrested drug traffickers to smuggle hard substances into the country through the Enugu airport.

Viral Video of the Drug traffickers confessions indicting the NDLEA officers in Enugu Airport has been circulating on social media since February 2022.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, the witness led by prosecution lawyer, Mr Joseph Sunday, narrated how he received the transfer of the two suspected drug traffickers and the exhibit drugs Officially from Police IRT via an official transfer letter from the police now marked exhibit 13 in Court.

He said, “On the nature of the drugs transferred to me at FCT Command by the Police IRT, we received on that date 12 white powdery packs of the powdery substance suspected to be cocaine and additional 12 powdery packs in pallet form, all in 2 bags.

“All in all, there were 24 packs parked in two traveling bags; one brown and the other greenish colour.

“We acknowledged the receipt of the transferred letter from the Police IRT and minuted the letter to my exhibit keeper”.

Ajia, who also claimed to have witnessed the testing of the substances, explained that “The testing was done pack by pack; each pack has to be tested differently.

“And the results, generally, about 80 percent of the 21kg Drug Substance transferred by the Police IRT tested positive for pure cocaine while the remaining 20 percent have traces of cocaine and some other substance which suggested that about 20 percent of the cocaine might have been mixed with another substance,” he said.

During cross examination however, the witness disclosed that their investigation revealed that the exhibit (cocaine) came from Ethiopia to Enugu Airport before Drug traffickers were arrested by the police IRT out Enugu Airport.

The witness admitted that the agency maintains its operatives at all the international airports in Nigeria.

“The Airport in Enugu is one of such international airports,” he affirmed while responding to Dr Ikpeazu’s questions.

When the Senior lawyer Dr Ikpeazu SAN asked Ajia if the NDLEA operatives at the airport were the people who brought the cocaine parks in 2 abags (Exhibits 7 and 8) seized from the Drug suspects to him, he said: “No, they were not the people.”

When also asked whether as a commander, he made an effort to know whether “your NDLEA operatives who allowed this drug into Nigeria have been arrested and prosecuted for escorting drugs into Nigeria, the witness responded by saying that, “It is not within my purview to find out. Am I the commander of Nigeria?”

When asked if the IRT police officers being prosecuted by the NDLEA were the people who truly arrested the drug traffickers outside the Enugu Airport after the NDLEA officers cleared them out of the Enugu Airport and Officially transferred them to NDLEA with the Drugs via an official letter now tendered in Court and marked exhibit 13, the NDLEA commander responded in the affirmative. “Yes, it is the police as an organisation”, he said.

Thereafter other defence counsel cross examined the witness, Justice Emeka Nwite announced that trial will continue the next day, Thursday.

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