NDLEA officials aided Abba Kyari in drug trafficking, says IGP
Usman Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, has urged the Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd), to immediately arrest officers of the anti-narcotic agency involved in drug crimes with accomplices of suspended cop, Abba Kyari.
The police boss made this known in a statement on Monday while announcing the arrest of Kyari and four other police officers fingered by the NDLEA in drug-related crimes.
DCP Abba Kyari, four others now in NDLEA custody – Official
Kyari, the suspended Head of the Intelligence Response Team, was earlier declared wanted by the NDLEA over alleged drug links.
NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, had chronicled how Kyari belonged to a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline.
The anti-narcotics agency said Kyari contacted one of its officers in Abuja and struck a deal to secure the release of a total of 25kg seized cocaine and offered $61,400 to NDLEA officers who played along until his arrest.
The NDLEA also said it had photo and video evidence against Kyari.
Reacting in a statement also on Monday through the Force Spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, the IGP said incontrovertible evidence indicted Kyari in the drug crimes.
It partly read, “The Nigeria Police Force has arrested DCP Abba Kyari and four other police officers for their involvement in an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, discreditable, unethical, and unprofessional conduct, official corruption and tampering with exhibits in a case of illicit drug trafficking involving a perpetual transnational drug cartel.
“The arrest of the officers was sequel to pieces of information received from the leadership of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on 10th February 2022.
“The interim investigations report revealed that two international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on the 19th of January, 2022 upon their arrival from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET917.
“The arrest led to the recovery of substantial quantity of powdery substance suspected to be cocaine from the two narcotic couriers. The operation which was intelligence-driven was undertaken by a Unit of the Police Intelligence Response Team.
“Although the case and the two suspects were subsequently transferred to the NDLEA on the 25th January 2022, the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the Inspector General of Police established reasonable grounds for strong suspicion that the IRT officers involved in the operation could have been involved in some underhand and unprofessional dealings as well as official corruption which compromised ethical standards in their dealings with the suspects and exhibits recovered.
“Beyond this, the Police investigation also established that the international narcotics cartel involved in this case have strong ties with some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu who are on their payroll.
“The two arrested drug couriers confirmed that the modus is 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 have been enjoying this relationship with the NDLEA officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 2021 and had in this instant case of 19th January 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 investigations report also indicted DCP Abba Kyari, who had been on suspension for his alleged involvement in a different fraud case being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, for complicity in the allegation of official corruption, tampering with narcotics exhibit and sundry unprofessional conducts that negate the standard administrative and investigative protocols of the Force as well as extant criminal laws.
“It is to be emphasised that DCP Abba Kyari’s involvement in these allegations occurred while his suspension from service was subsisting.”
He said the affected police officers have been transferred to the NDLEA for prosecution. “The concerned officers include DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, ASP John Umoru (at large), Inspr. Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu. They have all been, accordingly, handed over today 14th February 2022 to the NDLEA authorities,” he said.
The statement also added, “In so doing, the Inspector General of Police has also formally requested that the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency should ensure the identification, arrest, and investigation of the Agency’s officers who have also been found to be colluding with the international drug cartel involved in this case towards advancing the anti-narcotics agenda of the federal government.
Kyari was indicted in 2021 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States for his alleged role in a $1m scam allegedly perpetrated by alleged international Internet fraudster Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi and five others.
FBI Special Agent, Andrew Innocenti, had said he obtained voice calls and WhatsApp conversations between Kyari and Hushpuppi, adding that Hushpuppi also paid the police officer N8m or $20,600 for the arrest and detention of a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Vincent.
The United States Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California had ordered the FBI to arrest Kyari but the IGP and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) evasively continued to shield Kyari till this moment.