The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday tendered before a Federal High Court, Abuja, exhibits linking suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari with alleged drug trafficking offences.
The exhibits which included the sum of $61, 400 and 24 packs of cocaine were admitted as evidence in proof of the allegations.
Kyari is standing trial on charges bothering on alleged involvement with hard drug deals. While the $61,400 cash tendered was said to be money used to bribe the NDLEA’s officials who arrested him, the packs of cocaine were the ones at the heart of the trial.
According to the NDLEA, Kyari had attempted to bribe its senior officer with $61, 400. 00 at a restaurant in Abuja to avoid the testing of part of the cocaine that was seized from the two arrested drug pushers.
As part of proving its case, the anti-drug agency called its third witness, one Peter Joshua, a Chief Superintendent of Narcotics and an exhibit officer attached to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the agency.
According to CSP Joshua, the cash was handed over to him on January 25, after he weighed and conducted preliminary test on wraps of cocaine that were seized from two convicted drug pushers- Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwane, co-defendants with Kyari.
Joshua in his evidence stated that the money, all in $100 bills, were given to him for safekeeping by the Director of Intelligence and the Deputy Commander-General of Narcotics, at the office of the Commander, NDLEA, FCT Command.
The $100 bills which were in a transparent nylon, were then counted in the open court, and was subsequently admitted in evidence by Justice Nwite.
While the monies were marked as Exhibit 11, the document containing their serial numbers, was marked as Exhibit 12.
Besides the cash, the NDLEA, also through Joshua tendered 24 packs of cocaine that were handed over to it by the Kyari led IRT.
The cocaine was brought before the court in two travelling bags.
While the first bag contained nine packs of cocaine wrapped in white cotton sacks, the second bag, contained three additional packs of cocaine and 12 pellets that were separately tied in nylon bags.
Since lawyers to the defendants did not raise any objection to their admittance, Justice Nwite subsequently admitted the packs in evidence and marked them as exhibits.
The Certificate of test form was marked as Exhibit 5, just as the Packing of substance form was admitted as Exhibit 6.
Likewise, while the green bag that contained three sacks of cocaine and 12 pellets, was admitted as Exhibit 7, the Chocolate bag that contained nine sacks of cocaine, was marked as Exhibit 8.
The court equally admitted three international passports that were seized from the convicted drug pushers, Umeibe and Ezenwanne, in evidence.
While two of the passports belonging to Umeibe (6th Defendant), were marked as Exhibit 9 and 9a, the third passport belonging to Ezenwanne (7th Defendant), was admitted as Exhibit-10.
Recall that both Umeibe and Ezenwane had on arraignment pleaded guilty to the charge against them and have since been convicted.
However, Kyari and the other four defendants who are also members of the IGP IRT team denied the allegations.
They included ACP Sunday Ubia, Insp. Simon Agirigba, Insp. John Nuhu, and ASP Bawa James.
The NDLEA had alleged that Kyari and his men, unlawfully tampered with 21.25kilograms worth of cocaine that they seized from the two convicted drug traffickers- Umeibe and Ezenwane, even as it also accused them of dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.
They were said to have committed the offence between January 19 and 25, 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) IRT, Abuja, in connivance with one ASP John Umoru (now at large), contrary to section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Meanwhile, Justice Nwite has fixed August 30, for ruling in the fresh bail application of the defendants.
The judge fixed the date after taking submissions for and against the request based on the recent invasion of the Kuje Correctional Center, Abuja.