Cocaine saga: Police arrests Kyari, hands over to drug law agency

The Nigeria Police Force has arrested embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari and four other police officers for their involvement in alleged cocaine trafficking, and subsequently handed them over to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

Penpushing reports that the Acting Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi made this known in a statement adding that 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.

The statement added that, 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.

Penpushing further reports that, Adejobi said 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 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)’, the statement added.

‘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’.

Penpushing also reports that, the statement explained that beyond this, the police investigation established that the international narcotics cartel involved in this case have strong ties with some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu who are on their pay roll.

‘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’.

 Penpushing reports that, Adejobi said the two arrested drug couriers also confirmed that they have been enjoying this relationship with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 2021.

The statement said the couriers confessed that in this instant case of 19th January, 2022, they have been identified and cleared by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (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.

Penpushing further reports that, the statement said, it is necessary to emphasise that  Abba Kyari’s involvement in these allegation 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 has 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 statement added.

‘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’, Adejobi said.

Penpushing also reports that, the statement disclosed that the Inspector General of Police has formally requested that the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) should ensure the identification, arrest and investigation of the agency’s officers who have also been found to be colluding with the international drug cartel involved in this case towards advancing the anti-narcotics agenda of the Nigerian Government.

‘The Inspector General of Police assures the public of his administration’s commitment to upholding the tenets and values of policing in line with the agenda of ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standard, enhancement of the anti-corruption drive, respect for the rule of law and inter-agency collaboration in the drive to stabilise the internal security order of the country’, Adejobi stressed

Penpushing reports that, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA), has, however, confirmed the handover of the suspects, adding that as at the time of filing this report, they are in custody

The spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi in a statement on Monday, added that, the handover was done in the premises of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), and that they arrived at the agency headquarters around 5 p.m.

‘Few hours after he was declared wanted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA over his involvement in a 25 kilograms Cocaine deal, the Nigerian Police Force has handed over the suspended DCP Abba Kyari, the erstwhile Commander of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigerian Police Force, to the anti-narcotic agency’, he said.

“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 5pm on Monday 14th February to formally hand them over for interrogation and further investigation’, Babafemi said.

“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 investigation will face the full weight of the law at the end of the ongoing probe,” the statement said.

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