Court throws out Abba Kyari's plea to drop NDLEA charges

Abba Kyari

File Photo: Abba Kyari in court

By Taiye Agbaje

The bid by suspended former head of Nigeria’s Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, DCP Abba Kyari to dismiss the drug trafficking charges filed against him and three others by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s (NDLEA) failed at Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday.

In a ruling, Justice Emeka Nwite held that the court had the exclusive right and jurisdiction to hear drug-related cases, as enshrined in the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution and the NDLEA Act.

On January 18, Justice Nwite adjourned for ruling on the application filed by Kyari and three other co-defendants in the drug-related suit.

Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubia, Insp Simon Agirigba, and Insp John Nuhu are the applicants.

In fresh motions on notice filed by their lawyers on the grounds that the suit was incompetent, they asked the court to dismiss the criminal charge against them.

They requested that their trial be halted because they had not been subjected to internal disciplinary action by the Nigeria Police Council (NPC) and the Police Service Commission (PSC), as required by the constitution.

They claimed that the complainant’s (NDLEA) failure to await disciplinary action rendered the charge ineffective and deprived the court of jurisdiction to hear it.

But the NDLEA counsel, Mr Joseph Sunday, opposed the application.

He argued that most of the cases cited by lawyers to the defendants did not relate to Police Service Act, saying the instant charge against the defendant was a criminal matter.

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He submitted that the defendants through their applications had not, by way of affidavit or legal argument, established any condition precedence required for the filing of this charge.

“To that extent, their application must fail and be bereft of any factual evidence,” he said.

Sunday urged the court to dismiss the application and proceed to the hearing of the matter.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Nwite held that the powers of the Police Service Commission did not supersede the powers of the FHC.

He stated that the court had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case.

According to the judge, the court has the authority to hear and decide the charge under Section 251(2)(F) and (3) of the Constitution.

Earlier, the NDLEA accused Kyari of failing to disclose assets in a new suit filed at the federal high court on September 5, 2022.

The NDLEA, in the new 24 charges, said that Mr Kyari failed to declare his ownership of property in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Maiduguri.

The anti-drug agency also stated that over N207 million and 17,598 Euro were discovered in his three bank accounts.


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