On Monday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency declared Abba Kyari (the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police), wanted for drug trafficking.
Briefing newsmen on the development, Femi Babafemi, the spokesperson for NDLEA, lamented that some law enforcement agents were aiding and abetting drug trafficking in the country.
Narrating how Abba Kyari was caught red-handed in the crime, the spokesman, while briefing the press said:
“Gentlemen of the press, there is no better way to start this press briefing than to remind us about the enormity of the drug problem Nigeria has on its hand and the imperative of all well-meaning Nigerians to play a positive role in curbing the illicit drug menace.
“Even before the damning findings of the 2018 National Drug Use and Health Survey, Nigeria’s drug problem was getting close to epidemic proportion.
“And if anything, the arrests and seizures by NDLEA in the past 12 months is an indication that the country’s drug problem was grossly underestimated before President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to strengthen the NDLEA and the subsequent launch of offensive action by the Agency to clean the society of the menace.
“And in just 12 months, even the most cynical of Nigerians now agree that the country is really in a drug quagmire and therefore appreciates the relentless efforts of NDLEA operatives.
“Unfortunately, some law enforcement agents who should be partners in the pursuit of the President’s mandate are at the forefront of breaking the law, as they aid and abet drug trafficking in the country.
“Today, we are forced to declare one of such law enforcement agents wanted in the person of suspended DCP Abba Kyari, the erstwhile Commander of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigerian Police Force.
“With the intelligence at our disposal, the Agency believes strongly that DCP Kyari is a member of a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline, and he needs to answer questions that crop up in an ongoing drug case in which he is the principal actor. His failure to cooperate forced the hand of the Agency and that is the reason for this press briefing.
“Let me give a synopsis of what transpired.
The saga started on Friday, January 21, 2022, when DCP Kyari initiated a call to one of the NDLEA officers in Abuja at 2:12 pm. When the officer returned the call two minutes later, Kyari informed him he was coming to see him, to discuss an operational matter after the Juma’at service.
“He appeared at the agreed venue of the meeting with the officer and went straight to the crux of the matter. This was it: His team had intercepted and arrested some traffickers that came into the country from Ethiopia with, according to him, 25kg of cocaine.
“He proposed a drug deal whereby he and his team are to take 15kg of the cocaine and leave 10kg for the prosecution of the suspects arrested with the illicit drug in Enugu. In the meantime, the purloined cocaine will be replaced with a dummy worth 15kg. He asked the NDLEA officer to persuade men of the FCT Command, to play along as well.
“Now, anybody who is in touch with the reality of the renewed drug war by NDLEA since January 18, 2021, would know that that was a tall order because our officers and men have rededicated themselves to the war against illicit drugs and what Kyari was asking for was not tenable, not in this new dispensation, not with the new NDLEA. We can recall that one of our officers was in the same situation in May 2021 when a drug kingpin, Ejiofor Felix Enwereaku, flew from Brazil to Nigeria to negotiate the release of a 27.95 kg shipment of cocaine intercepted at the MMIA.
“The drug lord offered a bribe of $24, 500, but our officer placed duty above pecuniary interest. We all know how the episode ended. That is the ethos of the new NDLEA. And our officer proved it again this time by reporting to the authorities.
“By 11: 05 am on Monday, January 24, after the Agency gave the officer the green light to play along, he and Kyari began a WhatsApp call for the rest of the day. The officer conveyed “their” willingness to play the game.
“At this point, Kyari disclosed that the 15kg (already taken out) was shared between the informants that provided information for the seizure and he and his men of the IRT of the Nigerian Police. According to him, the informants were given 7kg while his team took 8kg which was already sold.
“He then offered to pay the NDLEA team (that is the officer and the FCT commander) by selling, on their behalf, half of the remaining 10kg, thereby further reducing the original cocaine for the prosecution to just 5kg.