Wanted DCP Abba Kyari, 4 others now in our custody– NDLEA
Babafemi said that this came few hours after Kyari was declared wanted by the agency over his involvement in a 25 kilograms Cocaine deal.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has confirmed the arrest of the suspended DCP Abba Kyari and four others.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), had earlier in the day at a press conference declared the suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari wanted for illicit drugs.
Spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that investigation had revealed that Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) was a member of a drug syndicate which operates across the globe.
He alleged that some law enforcement agents who should be partners in the fight against drug abuse were at the forefront of breaking the law.
“They aid and abet drug trafficking in the country,’’ Babafemi said.
He said the NDLEA had the mandate to take custody of suspects and consignments of drugs seized by other arms of law enforcement.
Babafemi said there was standard protocol for transferring suspect, adding that this had been duly followed.
“The suspects and drugs were delivered to us on February 8, but the last part of the process yet to be completed was the debriefing of Kyari.’’
Babafemi said that Kyari was invited by NDLEA for debriefing on Thursday but up till the close of work on Friday, the suspended policeman did not respond.
“Today (Monday), we are forced to declare one of the law enforcement agents wanted in the person of suspended DCP Abba Kyari.
“He was the Commander of Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Force Intelligence Bureau, Nigeria 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
“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 news briefing,’’ he said.
Babafemi said Kyari initiated a call to one of the NDLEA operatives on Jan. 21 at about 2.12 p.m.
He said 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.
“Kyari said his team had intercepted and arrested some traffickers that came into the country from Ethiopia with 25kg of cocaine.
“He (Kyari) 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,’’ he said.
Babafemi said, “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.’’
According to Babafemi, by 11.05 a.m. 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 the men.
“Kyari said the informants were given 7kg, while his team took 8kg which was already sold,’’ Babafemi said.
He said that Kyari “offered to pay the NDLEA team (that is the officer and the FCT commander) by selling on their behalf, half of the remaining 10kg.’’
Babafemi added that by the act, Kyari “further reduced the original cocaine for the prosecution to just 5kg at N7 million per kilogramme
“The proceed from the 5kg would amount to N35m at the exchange rate of N570 per dollar being the black market rate on Jan. 24, 2022.’’
Babafemi quoted the suspect as saying that he would deliver 61,400 dollars to the NDLEA team.
He said that Kyari pressurised the NDLEA officer to wrap up the arrangement with the agency commander in the FCT to take custody of the drug and suspects from his men.
He said that Kyari spoke from Lagos at that time, where he had traveled to 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.
“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.’’
Babafemi said when Kyari returned, he met the officer with the money from the sale of the 5kg share of the NDLEA team – 61, 400 dollars.
“So, we have a trove of intelligence, hard facts from chats to photos and video and a detailed transcript of the communication between Kyari and the NDLEA officer.
“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 Nigeria Police wanted right from this very moment.
“I must say this publicly, we are not unaware of threats to the lives of NDLEA officers involved in this investigation,’’ Babafemi said.
The NDLEA said that the agency would do its best to protect its operatives.
“We are making this strong statement to those contemplating harmful action against NDLEA officers.
“They would only succeed in compounding their problems in the event of harm to officers and men of NDLEA,’’ he said.