Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari and four other policemen are at the risk of spending years in prison if found guilty of charges brought against them before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) the alleged offence committed by Kyari and his fellow officers attract a minimum of 15 years imprisonment upon conviction.
The revelation was made today after NDLEA faulted Kyari’s bail.
It also faulted claim by Kyari that he suffers ill-health and expressed doubt about the authenticity of the medical reports he has so far tendered in court.
The agency cautioned the court against granting Kyari and other defendants in the case bail, alleging that they constitute flight risk and could jump bail if granted one.
The NDLEA stated this in its counter-affidavit it filed in opposition to the bail applications by Kyari and others.
“That the offences the defendants/applicants are being charged with are serious in nature attracting penalties of not less than 15 years imprisonment on conviction.
“Considering the seriousness of the offences, the character of evidence against them and their antecedents of not wanting to submit themselves to investigation and the criminal justice process, as well as the enormous resources at their disposal, there is a strong likelihood of the defendants/applicants taking flight if granted bail.
“One of their accomplices, ASP John Umoru (a.k.a. Too Much Money), has absconded and been declared wanted by the police and is still at large refusing to submit himself to justice.
“The ‘medical report’ attached in paragraph 21 in respect of the 1st applicant (Kyari) is a laboratory test report carried out in 2019.
“The 1st applicant is in the habit of procuring medical reports and had, in a sister fundamental rights enforcement suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/182/2022 before His Lordship, Honourable Justice I. Ekwo, attached a medical report from Chira Specialist Hospital dated 19th February 2022 while in the respondents custody and did not go anywhere.
“The 1st applicant never mentioned any laboratory test report in that suit. There are obvious discrepancies in the dates on the laboratory test result of Alliance Hospital as between 11th July 2019 and 25th February 2022.
“At the second date indicated on the laboratory report – 25/2/2022 – the 1st applicant was already in the custody of the respondent and did not go anywhere.
“The issue of the laboratory test report is an afterthought. None of the hospitals mentioned above is a government hospital and the 1st defendant/applicant, being a public servant in the Nigeria Police, is under the National Health insurance Health Scheme and entitled to only one hospital as a primary health provider under the scheme.
“Exhibit B (medical report) of the 1st defendant/applicant’s application is dubious,” the NDLEA said.
The defendants had, in their bail applications, claimed among others, ill-health; pledged not interfere with prosecution’s witnesses and assured that they would be available for trial.
On Monday, lawyers to parties made their final submissions in respect of the bail applications, following which Justice Emeka Nwite adjourned till March 28 for ruling.
The application of the third defendant, James, was not moved by his lawyer, Michael Mbanefo, who sought time to reply to NDLEA’s counter-affidavit.
Kyari was last week arraigned with Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sunday J. Ubua; Assistant Superintendent of Police, Bawa James; Inspector Simon Agirgba; Inspector, John Nuhu, and two civilians – Chibuna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne – on an eight-count charge
While Kyari and the four other policemen pleaded not guilty, the two civilians pleaded guilty.
Shortly after the judgement adjourned the case and security agents were leading the defendants out of the courtroom, a lady, who accompanied them, suddenly fell down.
It took the intervention of some of those around and officials of the NDLEA to evacuate and resuscitate her.
Some of those, believed to be relatives of the defendants, who were also in court, claimed the light skinned woman, dressed in black hijab, is Kyari’s wife.