A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, refused to grant an application for bail filed by the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who declined to grant the plea in a motion ex-parte brought by Kyari’s Lawyer, C. O. Ikena, ordered that the respondent, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), be put on notice.
He, thereafter, adjourned the matter until April 24 for the motion to be taken. When the matter was called, Ikena informed that she had an ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/182/22 before the court.
She said the motion sought a bail for her client on health ground.
“I filed a motion to admit the applicant to a bail on health grant pending the determination of the substantive matter,” she said.
Justice Ekwo then asked: “Where is the applicant?”
“He is at the NDLEA’s custody my lord,” she responded.
The judge then asked the lawyer what the substantive matter was all about and she said: “The substantive matter is about infringement on his fundamental rights and false allegations.”
Ekwo told the lawyer that going by the averments in the application, the respondent (NDLEA) would have to be put on notice and a date fixed to hear the motion.
He said this was so because the averment Ikena made would need a response of the NDLEA.
“But my lord, his (Kyari’s) condition at the custody is critical,” she said. Justice Ekwo, however, insisted that the NDLEA be put on notice.
The judge adjourned the matter until April 24 for the motion to be taken. He also ordered the NDLEA to file their response before the next adjourned date.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NDLEA had, on Feb. 14, declared Kyari wanted over alleged links with an international drug cartel.
Femi Babafemi, spokesperson of the NDLEA, had announced the development, in a press briefing. Babafemi said the anti-drug agency decided to declare Kyari wanted because he did not honour the invitation sent to him.
NAN reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had indicted Kyari of conspiring with Hushpuppi, self-confessed international fraudster, in a $1.1 million scam.
The suspended police officer had denied the allegation, claiming that his “hands are clean”.
NAN also reports that the Nigeria Police on Feb. 14, arrested Kyari and four other police officers for their involvement in an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, discreditable, unethical, and unprofessional conduct.
Others are official corruption and tampering with exhibits in a case of illicit drug trafficking involving a transnational drug cartel.
The arrest of Kyari and others came after the NDLEA declared him wanted on Monday.
The police then handed Kyari and others involved in the alleged offence to the NDLEA.
“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,” acting police spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi, had said.
Adejobi said interim investigations report showed that two international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on Jan. 19, 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).
The police said although the case and the two suspects were subsequently transferred to the NDLEA on Jan. 25, 2022, the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the IGP 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.