A prosecution witness has told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the cocaine substance seized from the two traffickers linked to Abba Kyari was adulterated.
The NDLEA had previously accused Mr Kyari, a suspended deputy commissioner of police, and his four co-defendants of adulterating the cocaine after seizing it from the two traffickers that smuggled it into the country through the Enugu airport in January.
Only 80 per cent or four-fifth of the substance tested cocaine, said Mohammed Ajia, a commander of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). He said the remaining 20 per cent or one-fifth of it was another substance.
Mr Ajia, the fourth prosecution witness, who was led in evidence by NDLEA’s lawyer, Sunday Joseph, said the unnamed other substance was used to adulterate the cocaine.
“After the substances were subjected to a test, the results tested 80 per cent positive to cocaine, while in others, there were traces of cocaine in them, which suggests that the substance must have been adulterated with another substance,” the fourth prosecution witness called by the NDLEA told the court.
Mr Ajia’s testimony was a pointer to some of the charges pending against Mr Kyari, a suspended deputy commissioner of police, and four other police officers in his Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The NDLEA accused them of tampering with the 21.35 kilogrammes cocaine seized from two men arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on 19 January this year.
It also alleged that Mr Kyari and his team members removed and disposed 17.55 kilogrammes of the cocaine, and then, substituted same with some other substance.
It also accused Mr Kyari of attempting to obstruct the NDLEA and its authorised officers by offering $61,400 to a senior officer of the agency as inducement at a restaurant on Port Harcourt Crescent, Area 11, Garki Abuja.
The motive, according to the charges, was to prevent “the testing of the 17.55 kilogrammes of substance used to replace the cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.”
The offences allegedly committed by Mr Kyari and his co-defendants between 19 and 25 January are said to be contrary to and punishable under various provisions of the NDLEA Act.
The four police officers with whom Mr Kyari is now facing the charges are: Sunday Ubua, an assistant commissioner of police; Bawa James, an assistant superintendent of police; Simon Agirgba, an inspector, and John Nuhu, also an inspector.
The two persons from whom the cocaine was seized – Chibuna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne – had since pleaded guilty to the part of the drug trafficking charges concerning them.
The court jailed the self-confessed cocaïne traffickers two years each in June, following their guilty plea.
Witness confirms NDLEA officers failed to arrest traffickers at airport
Meanwhile, Mr Ajia admitted that NDLEA officers failed to arrest the convicted drugs traffickers when they passed through the airport in Enugu on 19 January. He made the admission during cross-examination by Mr Kyari’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu.
The Mr Kyari-led IRT arrested the two men.
Mr Ajia confirmed earlier in his evidence-in-chief that the anti-narcotics agency took over custody of the two drugs traffickers along with “some powdery substances” they were apprehended with from the IRT on 4 February.
Without any objection from Mr Kyari’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, and other defence lawyers, the “transfer letter” of the IRT handing over the two culprits to the NDLEA was admitted as Exhibit 13 at Wednesday’s proceedings.
Mr Ajia admitted under cross-examination that the anti-narcotics agency has its officers at all airports across Nigeria. “The Airport in Enugu is one of such international airports.”
In response to another cross-examination, Mr Ajia said he was not aware if any NDLEA personnel at the Enugu airport had been arrested and prosecuted for failing in their duty to arrest the two culprits while smuggling the cocaine from Ethiopia into the country,
Abba Kyari files application to block convicted trafficker’s testimony
Meanwhile, Mr Kyari has filed an application seeking to stop Messrs Umeibe and Ezenwanne – the two convicted victims – from testifying against him in the suit.
The court could not hear the application on Wednesday because the court’s copy could not be found in the judge’s file.
The judge adjourned the case until 20 October.
Mr Kyari was suspended last year by police authorities after he was charged in the United States over his alleged link to an internet fraud involving Abbas Ramon, aka Hushpuppi.
But another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Inyang Ekwo, has dismissed the Attorney-General’s request to extradite Mr Kyari’s to the US to face pending charges.
The judge ruled that Nigeria’s extradition law forbids the extradition of a person on trial in Nigeria to a foreign country. Premium Times
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