By Taiye Agbaje
Abuja, March 3, 2022
The Federal Government will, on Monday, arraign the suspended DCP Abba Kyari, on an eight-count charge bordering on drug trafficking.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that Kyari, alongside six others, will be arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja.
Defendants in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022 include four members of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
They are ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu.
Other defendants are two alleged drug traffickers that were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu; Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.
The NDLEA, in the charge it filed through a team of lawyers led by its Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Mr. Joseph Sunday, accused Kyari and the four other police officers of conspiracy, obstruction, and dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.
It 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 were accused of conspiring with others at large to import 21.35kg of cocaine into the country.
NAN, in a related development, reports that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had, on Wednesday, filed an application for the commencement of extradition process of Kyari, formerly the head of the IRT, in the FHC.
The Federal Government, through the Office of the AGF, filed the application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022, under the Extradition Act.
This was part of Nigeria government’s approval of the request by the U. S. for Kyari’s extradition.
NAN reports that Kyari is to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.
He was accused of conspiring with a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Nigerian, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, to commit the crime.
A grand jury, on April 29, 2021, had filed an indictment against Kyari with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and the court issued a warrant of arrest for him.
NAN also reports that Justice Zainab Abubakar of a FHC had, on Feb. 22, gave the NDLEA the go-ahead to detain Kyari and six others in custody for another 14 days to conclude its investigation.
His application for bail was, on Monday, turned down by a sister court, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo, on the grounds that a court of coordinate justification had already granted an order for his further detention.
The suspended DCP had 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, 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.
The court had fixed a hearing in Kyari’s application for March 8.