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Court Dismisses Abba Kyari’s Application to Void Drug Trafficking Charges Against Him

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, seeking an order to strike out NDLEA’s charges against him.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in his ruling, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, held that the court has the exclusive right and jurisdiction to hear drug-related cases as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act.

Section 251 of the constitution confers the court the powers to hear and determine the charge, Justice Nwite held.

Kyari had told the court that the charges against him were premature, insisting that the NDLEA ought to have allowed police to exhaust its internal machinery before it instituted the action.

He told the court that the Police had already commenced an investigation into allegations against him and issued an interim report.

Kyari, maintained that he could only be charged in court upon the conclusion of the internal investigation by the police.

He argued that the PSC has similar powers to investigate and discipline erring police officers in line with the Police Act & Regulations, the same way the National Judicial Council (NJC) disciplines judicial officers.

But the judge stated that the powers of the Police Service Commission do not supersede the powers of the Federal High Court

Kyari, who is a former head of the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police Force is facing prosecution by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

He and four members of the IRT – ACP Sunday J. Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu were charged before a Federal High Court in Abuja with conspiracy to deal in 17.55kg of cocaine.

They were also charged with dealing in cocaine without lawful authority; conspiracy to tamper with cocaine and unlawfully tampering with the 21.35kg of cocaine seized from two convicted drug dealers.

Recall that on Sept. 5, 2022, in a fresh suit filed at the federal high court, the NDLEA accused Kyari of non-disclosure of assets.

According to the fresh 24 charges, the NDLEA said Mr Kyari failed to declare his ownership of the property in different locations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Maiduguri.

The anti-drug agency also said over N207 million and 17,598 Euro were also found in his various accounts in three banks.

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