Abba Kyari: Counsel gives reason for pro-bono service

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Onyechi Ikpeazu, has disclosed that he’s defending Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, and other members of his Intelligent Response Team, IRT, free because Kyari and his team successfully arrested drug traffickers that brought drugs into the country instead of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Police IRT after refusing to Compromise with the International Drug Traffickers despite their Pleas for the Police to take the whole drugs and leave them to go free, Voluntarily and Officially transfered the Drug Tracffickers to NDLEA.

Ikpeazu stated this in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja where he questioned the role of the NDLEA in the saga involving 21.35 kg of cocaine.

The SAN was reacting to the release of Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, who the IRT arrested at the car park in Enugu airport after they were cleared by the NDLEA operatives and later officially transferred the Drug Traffickers and drugs to NDLEA.

But in a shocking move the NDLEA indicted the IRT chief and his men who arrested the drug traffickers and transferred to them and filed a case against them in the federal high court in Abuja.

The drug traffickers later entered into a ridiculous plea bargain with the NDLEA and were sentenced to two years imprisonment by Justice Emeka Nwite on June 14, 2022.

They each got six-year sentences to run concurrently.

But they were on Friday 19 May 2023 released from prison having just spent 16 months in jail.

Ikpeazu said it smacks of complicity on the part of the NDLEA to allow the drug traffickers and their sponsors walk the street while the police who through diligent work arrested them are in prison.

He wondered why the NDLEA has continued to object to bail and has done everything possible to ensure the policemen do not get bail.

He explained that a good defence helps a judge to determine where guilt or innocence will lie, adding that Kyari “is a person that has added considerable value to society in many ways.”

According to him, the illicit drugs in dispute were intercepted by Kyari’s team at the parking lot of an airport, meaning that they must have been cleared to come into Nigeria by relevant authorities, including the NDLEA and not the police.

He said he would urge the court to see that bringing illicit drugs into Nigeria was the crime, not its interception within the country.

“When you look at the case itself (I’m not going into details) and ask, what precipitated the charge? It was that his (Kyari) unit was able to do that which the NDLEA was unable to do.

“They (Abba Kyari’s unit) were able to detect a drug cartel that had isolated the Enugu Airport (from Brazil to Ethiopia to Enugu Airport) for their drug transaction and they disseminate drugs all over the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“They were able to intercept that. Now, the people they arrested were actually arrested at the parking lot of the Enugu Airport after they had been cleared by the drug agents at the same airport.

“Let me try and see how we can expose some of the things that actually4 transpired,” Ikpeazu said.

He explained that it was ironic for the civilians that trafficked the drugs to be freed from prison because they entered into a plea bargain with the NDLEA which is an agency of the federal government.

“The people that imported drugs, the drugs were not concealed, they were tendered in court; and the people that imported such demonic and dangerous substances to be circulated to our children will walk (out of prison), while the people that intercepted them for prosecution are now being prosecuted.

“That is the irony of it all. You may even classify this as a public interest litigation because that is what it is and I am doing it pro bono (free of charge).

“For instance, I defended Honourable Justice Ademola and prior to the time the case went to court, the court of public opinion had essentially convicted him but when we went into the case and interrogated and scrutinised the case of the prosecution, the case failed,” he added.

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