7th April, 2022
By Taiye Agbaje
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, dismissed a fundamental enforcement rights suit filed by suspended DCP Abba Kyari against National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the suit after counsel for the NDLEA, Joseph Sunday, prayed the court that the matter be struck out.
When the matter was called, Cynthia Ikena, lawyer to Kyari, was absent.
Sunday, NDLEA’s Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, urged the court to strike out the suit.
Justice Ekwo said he was informed that Ikena sent a letter, praying the court for an adjournment.
But the letter was not filed by the lawyer and therefore not in compliance with the court rule.
The judge directed that the letter be shown to the NDLEA’s counsel.
Sunday, who expressed surprise with the development, said he was not copied in the letter in accordance with the rule of the court.
He prayed the court to strike out the matter.
After listening to NDLEA’s lawyer, Justice Ekwo struck out the case.
Also, the judge, after going into the substantive matter and seeing that parties had joined issues in the suit, went ahead to dismiss the case.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ekwo had, on March 15, threatened to strike out the fundamental enforcement rights suit following the delay by Ikena to serve Sunday her further and better affidavit after being served with the counter affidavit since Feb. 28.
Justice Ekwo, in a short ruling, had threatened to strike out the suit if the lawyer was unprepared in the next adjourned date.
“Put your house in order before the next date of hearing and if you do not, I will assume you are frustrating this matter and the suit will be struck out,” he said.
NAN reports that Kyari had said that the NDLEA’s allegations against him were fictitious.
The suspended DCP disclosed this in an affidavit in support of his motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/182/22 and filed before Ekwo.
The affidavit, dated Feb. 16 and filed Feb. 17, was deposed to by Kyari’s younger brother, Muhammad Usman.
Kyari, through Ikena, had filled the application to seek for his fundamental rights enforcement.
In the document, Kyari described the allegations against him by NDLEA as “trump-up.”
He said the agency had failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
He averred that the allegation linking him to an international drug cartel by the anti-narcotic agency was untrue.
He said since the Nigerian Police Force arrested him and handed him over to the NDLEA, he had been kept in custody since Feb. 12, without having access to his medical treatment.
He averred that his arrest and continued detention was an infringement on his fundamental human rights.
Kyari, a former head of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), in an originating motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/182/22, dated Feb. 16 and filed Feb. 17 demanded a N500 million in damages from the NDLEA over alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
He also sought for an order, directing the NDLEA to tender a written apology to him in two national dailies.
Kyari, who said that his fundamental rights would continue to be infringed upon by the NDLEA if the court did not intervene, urged the court to grant the application for bail in the interest of justice.
Kyari and his co-defendants, who are police officers, in the alleged drug trafficking charge preferred against them and two others before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court, Abuja, are currently in Kuje Correctional Centre based on the order of the trial judge.