Cocaine Saga: Suspended police officer Abba Kyari, Six Others Back In Court Over Drug Trafficking
Suspended police officer Abba Kyari and six others have been brought back to court to answer to drug trafficking related offences brought against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The NDLEA had filed eight counts of hard drugs trafficking against Mr Kyari, who is also wanted in the United States for his relationship with convicted fraudster, Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas.
Those arrainged along with Mr Kyari include Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Sunday Ubua, Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirigba, Inspector John Nuhu, Chibuinna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.
Mr Kyari, before his suspension, was a former Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Lawyers seated as a hearing of the case against Abba-Kyari and six other defendants resumes at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Earlier, the once celebrated cop pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him, however, two of his co-defendants pleaded guilty to parts of the drug trafficking charges brought against them.
The defendants, Chibuinna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, made their plea at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Both men, who were the only civilians arraigned in connection with Kyari’s cocaine saga, were ordered to be remanded in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) till when the application for their bail would be heard.
Kyari’s bail plea was also previously denied, and as investigations intensified, the NDLEA was able to nab a suspected billionaire drug baron linked to the N3 billion Tramadol deal involving the embattled officer who was leader of Nigeria’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi said that the billionaire “was eventually nabbed onboard a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja on Wednesday 13th April”.
He added: “Investigations reveal he’s been a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg, and 250mg, all of which are illicit.”
“This is in addition to operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used to launder money.”
The suspect, according to Mr Babafemi, came under watch last year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on 4th May 2021 when he sent them to sell to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the then Kyari-led IRT of the Nigeria Police, Ikeja Lagos.
The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at N17 million each as against the then black market value that ranged between N18 million and N20 million a carton in Lagos, the NDLEA spokesman added.
He said after the arrest of one of his staff, Kyari’s men were then led by the suspects to his warehouse where 197 additional Cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized by the IRT Team.
The monetary value of the 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from him in one day was over N3 billion.
According to him, three weeks after the seizure, the Kyari’s IRT team transferred only 12 Cartons of the Tramadol with one truck and a suspect to the Lagos Command of the NDLEA, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.