Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari has narrated how he hid like a rat from the terrorists who invaded Kuje custodial centre in Abuja.
Abba Kyari Ask Court To Grant Him Bail
KanyiDaily recalls that on July 5, gunmen suspected to be terrorists attacked Kuje prison and freed over 800 inmates including 69 detained Boko Haram insurgents.
Following the invasion, there were rumours that Kyari and other “high profile” inmates escaped, but the spokesperson of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Abubakar Umar denied the claim.
Kyari and other members of his IRT team including ACP Sunday J. Ubia, Insp. Simon Agirigba, Insp. John Nuhu, and ASP Bawa James, are standing trial for drug trafficking charges.
Speaking on Wednesday through his counsel, Onyekachi Ikpeazu, Kyari told the Federal High Court in Abuja that he had the opportunity to escape but declined to do so.
Kyari told the court to grant him bail because he and his imprisoned members of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) hid like rats on that deadly night.
He argued that the prison attack established “a special and exceptional circumstance” that should warrant the court to release him and his men on bail pending the determination of the drug trafficking charge.
Ikpeazu, addressing the court on behalf of his client, Kyari, said: “My lord, every living soul in this country will agree that there was not just a breach, but that there was a grand terrorist attack by an organisation that not only successfully invaded the Kuje Prison, but took control of it for over three hours.
“However, the applicant, being a law-abiding citizen, refused to take off. If there is anything to establish that the defendants will not jump bail, it was that circumstance. The gates of the prison were left open for over three hours.
“In fact, the defendant hid like a rat, because the organisation that conducted the attack went from cell to cell, saying they want to take him and the others to the desert.
“I don’t know where else in the world, where certified crime fighters that have endangered their lives and abandoned their families to serve the country, are kept in the same cubicle with same criminals they made their arrest possible, with some of them facing death penalty.
“These people have suffered. They are traumatised by the events of that night. You can imagine what it felt like, witnessing the attackers planting explosives everywhere in the prison.”
The lawyer also said the defendants anticipated that the prison facility could be attacked, which was why they applied for bail previously but were denied.
He submitted that the defendants cannot interfere with the witnesses the prosecution intends to call.
“They cannot even have access to the two convicts that are presently under the protection of the powerful prison service. Moreover, there is a constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the defendants,” he said.
Making his submission, Gboyega Oyewole, counsel to the second defendant, accused the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) of lying in their affidavit that no death was recorded, adding that a security operative was killed during the attack.
But Sunday Joseph, counsel to the NDLEA, opposed the bail application.
He said there is no proof that Kyari is being held with criminals, adding that no prisoner should receive special treatment in accordance with the law.
He also said there was nothing shown to the court that would cause it to alter its prior decision to deny the defendants bail.
“We, therefore, urge your lordship to refuse the application,” he said.
In his ruling, Emeka Nwite, the trial judge, adjourned ruling on the defendants’ fresh applications for bail till August 30.
KanyiDaily recalls that last month, the court sentenced two of Abba Kyari’s co-defendants to 2 years imprisonment for drug trafficking.