The suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), DCP Abba Kyari, has filed a N500m lawsuit against the federal government over his arrest and detention by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Abba Kyari Denies Drug Trafficking Allegations
KanyiDaily recalls that the NDLEA had arrested Kyari on February 14, over alleged drug trafficking and for being a member of a drug syndicate that operates across the globe.
However, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/182/22, Kyari accused the NDLEA of assisting drug traffickers, saying the allegations against him by the agency are “trumped-up”.
He alleged that a corrupt NDLEA officer framed him after he went to demand compensation for a whistleblower who provided information that led to the arrest of a suspect by the police intelligence response team (IRT).
The suspended DCP claimed that the suspect has been bringing cocaine into Nigeria from Ethiopia via all of the country’s airports “with the knowledge of the NDLEA officers”.
Kyari, in an affidavit deposed to by one Muhammad Nur Usman, who claimed to be his younger brother, told the court that NDLEA officers usually cleared the suspect “and even escorted him from the airport to his destination”.
The affidavit reads, “That on that fateful day, the suspect as usual shipped drugs (cocaine) from Ethiopia to Enugu airport. The officer of NDLEA cleared him within the airport, then officers of FIB-IRT arrested the suspect with the help of information.
“That before the informant accepted to work with the officers of FIB-IRT, they both had an agreement to compensate the informant.
“That officers of FIB-IRT having noticed that officers of NDLEA were the ones clearing the said suspect with his drugs (cocaine), they immediately took the suspect to NDLEA and also reported those officers involved in the act.
“That instead of the NDLEA to handle the matter accordingly and bring their officers involved to book, they decided to frustrate the informant, thereby refusing to compensate the informant.
“That it was at this juncture that the attention of the DCP Abba Kyari was called, whom because the NDLEA officer involved is his friend, decided to intervene for the purpose of compensating the informant.
“That the NDLEA officer who refused to compensate the informant was the one who framed DCP Abba Kyari up on a trump-up allegation that he was trying to bribe him.
“That the agent of the respondent (NDLEA) declared the applicant wanted because of a mere allegation that he was trying to bribe an NDLEA officer without sufficient proof.
“That the Nigerian police force, based on the allegation of the respondent, arrested the applicant on the 12th day of February, 2022, and handed over to the NDLEA.”
Kyari insisted that there was no proof to support the allegation upon which he was arrested and detained by the NDLEA.
“That the applicant is a decent police officer who has distinguished himself in areas of serving his father’s land as a police officer,” the document reads.
“That the applicant needs to be compensated and not to be dragged about, receiving torture, degrading and inhuman treatment by anybody or agency whatsoever.
“That there is no sufficient proof that the applicant has committed any offence to warrant this torture, degrading and inhuman treatment.”
Kyari Demands N500m Damages, Apology From FG
Based on the averments in the affidavit, Kyari is asking the court for a declaration that his continued detention by the NDLEA since February 12 without arraignment before any court, is in gross violation of his fundamental human rights.
He also asked the court for an order that declaring him a suspect and announcing him to the media “without giving him right to fair hearing nor establishing a prima-facie case against him is illegal, unlawful and an infringement on his fundamental right”.
He also sought a declaration claiming that the “torture, degrading and inhuman treatment” meted out to him in NDLEA custody, and refusal to grant him administrative bail, violates his rights.
Consequently, he is praying the court for an order restraining the federal government, “its agents, servants, privies, police or anyone acting on their behalf from further harassing detaining, intimidating, arresting the applicant unlawfully”.
Aside an order “directing the respondent to tender written apology to the applicants in two national daily newspapers”, he is also asking the court to direct the respondent “to pay the sum of N500,000,000 to the applicant, for unlawful violation of the applicant’s constitutional right provided for in sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended)”.
Abba Kyari Denied Bail On Health Challenges
Meanwhile, the suspended DCP, in an ex parte application, is asking the court to grant him bail on the grounds of ill-health.
In the affidavits of urgency, Usman, Kyari’s younger brother, said the applicant is “suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and severe heart disease that may cause death”.
He said, “That the applicant was receiving medical treatment on daily basis due to the seriousness of the illness.
“That since 12th of February, 2022, the applicant has not accessed any medical treatment, which is very dangerous to his health.
“That failure of the applicant to check his heart, high blood pressure will result in severe health problems or may even lead to heart failure and death. The medical report from National Hospital is hereby attached and marked as Exhibit A.
“That due to the applicant being a diabetic patient and on a medical diet, he does not eat outside his home and this is causing a very big hardship on the applicant that is in NDLEA custody.
“That the health of the applicant cannot be managed while in NDLEA custody due to the seriousness of his illness. That it is in the interest of justice that this applicant be admitted to bail on health grounds.
“That the applicant will not jump bail if bail is granted him. That he had a reliable surety who is in court.”
Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, declined to hear the application on ex parte (without hearing from federal government) on Monday.
Rather, the judge fixed February 24 for hearing the applicant’s motion for bail.
KanyiDaily recalls that last year, Abba Kyari was suspended by the police after United States’ FBI indicted him over his alleged role in a $1.1millon scam allegedly perpetrated by suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.