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UPDATED: Police hands over Abba Kyari, four others to NDLEA

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The suspended Commander of Intelligence Response Team (IRT), DCP Abba Kyari, and four other police officers linked to drug trafficking by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have been arrested by the Nigerian Police and handed over to the anti-narcotic agency for tampering with illicit drugs investigations and other sundry activities considered unprofessional in the country.

Others arrested and handed over to the NDLEA were ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, Inspr. Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu, meanwhile, ASP John Umoru has been declared wanted after he allegedly ran away.

According to the police, the officers arrested have been handed over to the NDLEA authorities for investigations bordering on the case of criminal conspiracy, as well as tampering with exhibits in a case of illicit drug trafficking involving a perpetual transnational drug cartel.

The NDLEA has also confirmed that the five officers linked to a 25 kilograms Cocaine deal were already in its custody and that interrogations have commenced to further identify other people and law enforcement officers that may be linked to the cartel across the country.

Through a statement released by the Director, Media, and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, the NDLEA disclosed that the officers were brought to its Command and handed over for questioning on Monday after they were declared wanted for drug deals.

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The statement reads: “Five of the wanted suspects namely: DCP Abba Kyari; ACP Sunday J. Ubua; ASP Bawa James; Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu were driven into the National Headquarters of NDLEA in Abuja at about 5 pm on Monday 14th February to formally hand them over for interrogation and further investigation.

“The Agency wishes to assure that no stone will be left unturned to ensure that all suspects already in custody and those that may still be indicted in the course of the investigation will face the full weight of the law at the end of the ongoing probe”.

Earlier, the police, meanwhile, indicted the anti-narcotic officials deployed by NDLEA at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu State, and that they were on payrolls of different drug cartel trafficking globally the illicit items.

The Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, has also requested that the Chief Executive Officer agency, Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd) should ensure the identification, arrest, and investigation of the Agency’s officers who were discovered to be colluding with the international drug cartel involved in this case

According to Baba, prosecuting the NDLEA officials identified at the airport by the Marwa-led agency will help in advancing the anti-narcotics agenda of the federal government.

The statement reads: “The arrest of the officers was sequel to pieces of information received from the leadership of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on 10th February, 2022.

“In line with the standard administrative procedure of the Force, the Inspector General of Police ordered a high-level, discreet, and in-house investigation into the allegations. The interim investigations report revealed that two (2) international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on the 19th of January, 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).

“Although the case and the two suspects were subsequently transferred to the NDLEA on the 25th January, 2022, the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the Inspector General of Police established reasonable grounds for strong suspicion that the IRT officers involved in the operation could have been involved in some underhand and unprofessional dealings as well as official corruption which compromised ethical standards in their dealings with the suspects and exhibits recovered.

“Beyond this, the Police investigation also established that the international narcotics cartel involved in this case has strong ties with some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu who are on their payroll.

“The two arrested drug couriers confirmed that the modus is for the transnational drug barons to conspire with the NDLEA officers on duty and send them their pre-boarding photographs for identification, seamless clearance, and unhindered passage out of the airport with the narcotics being trafficked.

“The two arrested drug couriers also confirmed that they have been enjoying this relationship with the NDLEA officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 2021 and had in this instant case of 19th January, 2022, been identified and cleared by the NDLEA officers as customary, having received their pre-departure photographs and other details prior to their arrival in Enugu, and were on their way out with the narcotics when they were apprehended by the Police.

“The Police investigations report also indicted DCP Abba Kyari, who had been on suspension for his alleged involvement in a different fraud case being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), for complicity in the allegation of official corruption, tampering with narcotics exhibit and sundry unprofessional conducts that negate the standard administrative and investigative protocols of the Force as well as extant criminal laws.

“It is to be emphasised that DCP Abba Kyari’s involvement in these allegations occurred while his suspension from service was subsisting”.

 

 

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