Nigeria Police, NDLEA trade blames over Kyari’s alleged drug deals
NDLEA on Monday issued a press statement where it alleged that “Some law enforcement agents, who should be partners in the pursuit of the President’s mandate, are at the forefront of breaking the law, as they aid and abet drug trafficking in the country.”
The agency’s director of media and advocacy, Femi Babafemi added that “Today, we are forced to declare one of such law enforcement agents wanted in the person of suspended DCP Abba Kyari, the erstwhile Commander of the Intelligence Response Team at the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigerian Police Force.”
NDLEA later on the same day arrested Kyari.
But the Nigeria Police Force had on the same Monday counter-accused the NDLEA of partnering with drug dealers.
The police public relations officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, issued a statement to say that the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had ordered an investigation into the matter, noting that Kyari, who is still on suspension, continued to run operations with the IRT, which resulted in the arrest of some drug dealers.
According to Adejobi, the drug dealers in question were allowed to bring in cocaine through the Enugu airport with the connivance of NDLEA officials.
The Force subsequently called on the NDLEA to also arrest its officials on the payroll of drug barons.
The statement read in part, “In line with standard administrative procedures of the Force, the Inspector-General of Police has ordered a high-level, discreet and in-house investigation into the allegations.
“The interim investigations’ report revealed that two international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on January 19, 2022 upon their arrival from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET917.”
The police stated that the arrest led to the recovery of a substantial quantity of powdery substance suspected to be cocaine from the two.
Adejobi added, “The two arrested drug couriers confirmed that the modus was 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 two arrested drug couriers also confirmed that they had been enjoying this relationship with the NDLEA officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 2021 and had in this instant case January, 19, 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.”
The police explained that although the case and the two suspects were subsequently transferred to the NDLEA on January 25, 2022, the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the IG established reasonable grounds for strong suspicion that the IRT officers involved in the operation could have been involved in official corruption, which compromised ethical standards in their dealings with the suspects and the exhibits recovered.
According to the statement, the police investigation report also indicted Kyari, who has been on suspension for his alleged involvement in a different fraud case being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
“It is to be emphasised that DCP Abba Kyari’s involvement in these allegations occurred while his suspension from service was subsisting,” the statement read.
The NPF subsequently arrested all the police officers involved in the case, including Kyari, and handed them over to the NDLEA for investigation.
The four other officers arrested were identified as Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu. Another officer, ASP John Umoru, is said to be at large.
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