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I’m not guilty of drug trafficking, Abba Kyari tells court

THE Suspended DCP Abba Kyari today pleaded not guilty to a drug trafficking charge filed against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Kyari told Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, today, following his arraignment, alongside six others, on allegations bordering on drug trafficking.

NAN reports that while Kyari pleaded not guilty to counts one, two, three, four and eight levelled against him, the other four police officers, who are defendants in the trial, also pleaded not guilty to counts one, two, three and four filed against them.

But Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, who are 6th and 7th defendants respectively, pleaded guilty to counts five, six, and seven preferred against them.

Although their names were also mentioned in counts three and four where allegations bordering on conspiracy were leveled against Kyari and others, they were not asked to take a plea on these two counts.

The four members of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022 include ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu.

Umeibe and Ezenwanne are the two alleged drug traffickers that were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

Shortly after taking their plea, the NDLEA lawyer, Joseph Sunday, Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, prayed the court for a trial date for the 1st to 5th defendants.

Sunday also urged the court to grant a leave to review the charges against Umeibe and Ezenwanne who pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

“We hope to file our prove of evidence latest tomorrow (Tuesday),” he said.

Kanu Agabi, SAN, who led a delegation of Senior Advocates of Nigeria that appeared for Kyari and Ubia, however, informed that a bail application had been filed in respect of his clients.

The NDLEA’s lawyer, Joseph Sunday, Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, who confirmed being served with the bail application, said a counter affidavit had been filed in its opposition.

The NDLEA, in the charge it filed through a team of lawyers, accused Kyari and the four other police officers of conspiracy, obstruction, and dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.

It is equally alleged that Kyari and his men, who are currently in its custody, also unlawfully tampered with 21.25kg worth of cocaine.

The duo of Umeibe and Ezenwanne was accused of conspiring with others at large to import 21.35kg of cocaine into the country.

Kyari, earlier through his lawyer, had, on Feb. 21, approached the court with an ex-parte motion and originating summons seeking a bail and asking the court to enforce his fundamental human rights which he alleged had been breached by the unlawful arrest and detention.

He said that the allegations preferred against him were trump-up and baseless.

Kyari, in the main suit, urged the court to make an order directing the NDLEA to pay him N500 million for infringing on his rights.

He also asked the court to direct the agency to tender a public apology in national dailies.

The suspended DCP had also challenged the order made on Feb. 22 by Justice Abubakar, empowering the NDLEA to detain him for more days.

In an application filed by his counsel before Abubakar, Kyari prayed the court to set aside the order for his detention, arguing that the order was issued without him being accorded a fair hearing.

Abubakar had fixed tomorrow (Tuesday) for hearing Kyari’s application.

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