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Abba Kyari: How Nigeria Police indict NDLEA officers for alleged complicity in illicit drug deals

Collage Photo of Mr. Usman Baba, Inspector-General of Police and Abba Kyari

*The Nigeria Police have arrested suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, and four other officers, but indicted some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for their alleged complicity in the illegal international drug business

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s declaring him wanted earlier Monday, February 14, 2022, over illicit transnational drug deal, the Nigeria Police have apprehended a suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari, and four other officers.

ConsumerConnect reports the Police also arrested alongside DCP Kyari ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agrigba, and Inspector John Nuhu, while the fifth suspect, ASP John Umoru, is still at large.

The Force, however, accused some officers of the NDLEA at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, in Enugu State, of having strong links with the alleged international drug trafficking pipeline.

Mohammed Buba Marwa, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA

Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Chief Superintendent of Police and Deputy Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO),  who confirmed arrest of the suspects in a statement issued Monday, February 14, 2022, in Abuja, FCT, said they were nabbed over purported involvement in a case of criminal conspiracy, discreditable, unethical and unprofessional conduct, official corruption, and tampering with exhibits in a case of illicit drug trafficking involving a perpetual transnational drug cartel.

Abba Kyari, 4 other Police Officers handed over to NDLEA ─FPRO

Adejobi stated that Kyari and four other suspects had been handed over to authorities of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The Police also stated: “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 standard administrative procedure of the Force, the Inspector General of Police ordered a high-level, discreet, and in-house investigation into the allegations.”

According to Adejobi, “the interim investigations report revealed that two 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 Nigeria Police further said: “The operation, which was intelligence-driven, was undertaken by a unit of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).”

Police’s ‘reasonable grounds for strong suspicion’ of officers’ involvement

As the case and the two suspects were transferred to the NDLEA January 25, Adejobi as well explained that the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the Police chief 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.

The Police FPRO said the IRT officers’ conduct compromised ethical standards in their dealings with the suspects and exhibits so recovered.

Adejobi disclosed the Police investigation also established that the international narcotics cartel involved in the case had “strong ties” with some officers of the NDLEA at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, who were said to be on their payroll.

The two arrested drug couriers, Police spokesman noted, confirmed that the modus operandi 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 Police said: “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.”

Kyari’s participation occurs under subsisting suspension

“The Police investigations report also indicted DCP Abba Kyari, who has been on suspension for his alleged involvement in a different fraud case being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (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.”

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

“On the strength of the findings of the in-house Police Investigation Panel, the Inspector-General of Police ordered the immediate arrest and transfer of all the indicted Police officers to the NDLEA authorities for conclusive investigation, while appropriate disciplinary actions are also being initiated against them by the Force leadership.”

The Force said: “The concerned officers include DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, ASP John Umoru (at large), Inspr. Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu.

“They have all been, accordingly, handed over today, 14th February, 2022 to the NDLEA authorities.”

IGP requests NDLEA to identify and arrest indicted operatives  

Besides, the Police Spokesman stated the IGP has formally requested the NDLEA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to ensure the identification, arrest, and investigation of the anti-drug agency’s officers found to be colluding with the international drug cartel involved in the case.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has assured Nigerian consumers of the Force’s commitment to upholding the tenets and values of policing in the country.

According to him, this is in line with the agenda of ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standard, enhancement of the anti-corruption drive, and respect for the rule of law and inter-agency collaboration in the drive to stabilise the internal security order of the country.

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