The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has declared the suspended Commander of the Force Intelligence Response Team, IRT Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari wanted over drug-related offences.
At a media conference in Abuja this Monday, NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi said, the suspended DCP Kyari is a member of a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline.
Babafemi added that Kyari needs to answer questions that cropped up in an ongoing drug case in which he is the principal actor. Femi also stated that Kyari’s failure to cooperate forced the hand of the narcotics Agency.
According to Babafemi, the said saga started on Friday, January 21, 2022, when DCP Kyari initiated a call to one of the NDLEA officers in Abuja at about 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.
He said his team had intercepted and arrested some traffickers that came into the country from Ethiopia with, according to him, 25 kilogrammes of cocaine. He proposed a drug deal whereby he and his team are to take 15 kilogrammes of the cocaine and leave 10 kilogrammes for the prosecution of the suspects arrested with the illicit drug in Enugu.
The purloined cocaine, in the meantime, will be replaced with a dummy worth 15 kilogrammes. He asked the NDLEA officer to persuade men of the FCT Command, to play along as well.
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 15 kilogrammes (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 7 kilogrammes while his team took 8 kilogrammes which was already sold.
Kyari then offered to pay the NDLEA team (that is the officer and the FCT Commander) by selling, on their behalf, half of the remaining 10 kilogrammes thereby further reducing the original cocaine for the prosecution to just 5 kilogrammes.
At N7 million per kilogramme, the proceeds from the 5 kilogrammes would amount to N35 million, at the exchange rate of N570 per dollar being the black market rate for the day, January 24, 2022. In effect, he would be delivering $61, 400 to the NDLEA team.
The suspended Police officer then put pressure on the NDLEA officer to wrap up the arrangement with the Commander of the FCT Command to take custody of the drug and suspects from his men who were on ground in Abuja. At the time, he was speaking from Lagos, where he allegedly travelled for private business.
The next day January 25, Kyari offered to send his younger brother to deliver the payment while his men deliver the suspects, but our officer turned down the suggestion, insisting he would rather deal with him in person and was therefore prepared to wait for him to return from Lagos.
And by 5: 23 pm, Kyari was in Abuja and met with the officer at the same rendezvous where they had the first meeting. In their discussion, he disclosed how his team received the information from a double-crosser who betrayed the traffickers to him, showing a sordid connection between law enforcement agents and the drug underworld; DCP Abba Kyari further narrated how acting on the tip-off, his team departed Abuja to Enugu and arrested the traffickers, removed part of the consignment on his instruction and replaced same with dummies. He also indicated how to identify the remnant of the original cocaine that would be delivered to NDLEA, five original packages marked with red dots.
The reason for this was to avoid the dummies being subjected to test. He forwarded a picture of the marked original cocaine package.
According to the plan, once the 5-kilogramme cocaine has been tested in the presence of the suspects and confirmed positive, there would be no need to test the remaining ones, being dummies.
Kyari also brought with him the money from the sale of the 5-kilogramme share of the NDLEA team, a total of $61, 400.
The NDLEA officer, however, preferred to take the money inside his own car. Unknown to Kyari, the car was wired with sound and video recorders. And the moment was documented.
Explaining further Babafemi said the NDLEA has a trove of intelligence, hard facts, from chats to photos and video and a detailed transcript of the communication between him and the NDLEA officer
but that the venue of the media conference was not the place to delve into the details.
Babafemi said it is disheartening to hear straight from the horse’s mouth the kind of sleaze engaged in by this team of rogue law enforcement agents led by Kyari, the members of whom he described this way: “the boys are very, very sharp, they are very loyal.”
It is disheartening to hear him say of this rogue team, and I quote: “I do take good care of them, and this kind of work is done by only that team.”
It is equally disheartening to hear him give details of another similar operation which they pulled off, three weeks ago.
The NDLEA spokesperson added that, the Agency was not aimed at washing DCP Abba Kyari’s dirty linen in the public but wants Nigerians to understand how they arrived at this juncture whereby we are having this media briefing.
He said, the NDLEA has the mandate to take custody of suspects and consignments of drugs seized by other arms of law enforcement. And there is a standard protocol for such transfer. This we duly followed. The suspects and drugs were delivered to us on February 8 but the last part of the process, yet to be completed, is the debriefing of Kyari.
DCP Abba Kyari was invited by NDLEA for debriefing on Thursday, February 10 through two main channels because there is a whole lot of questions begging for answers. “The invitation was legitimate and formal according to our protocol. But up till the close of office hours on Friday, February 11, he refused to respond. Up till this moment, he hasn’t responded.
We are a law-abiding agency of government. We follow due process. In that vein, we will not detain suspects beyond the stipulated period according to the law before we charge them to court. And Kyari must be debriefed before the suspects are arraigned in court.
Having failed to honour the official invitation, NDLEA has no option but to declare DCP Abba Kyari of the Nigerian Police WANTED, right from this very moment
While Nigerians are awash with the news, authorities of the Nigeria Police are yet to react to the development.