Abba Kyari: Police unravel identities of drug barons, NDLEA collaborators

The Force Headquarters, on Monday unraveled the identities of the suspected drug barons who allegedly colluded with DSP Abba Kyari and four others to ferry illicit drugs into the country.

Abba Kyari and his team were declared wanted by the National Drig Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday.

The suspects had been arrested by the police and handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.

The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer (DFPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement in Abuja that some NDLEA officials were allegedly involved in the drug deal.

He said that the police had carried out discreet investigation when it received a request from the NDLEA on February 10.

“In line with standard administrative procedure of the Force, the Inspector General of Police ordered a high-level, discreet, and in-house investigation into the allegations.

“The interim investigations report revealed that two international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on January 19.

“The suspects were arrested upon their arrival from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET917.

“The arrest led to the recovery of substantial quantity of powdery substance suspected to be cocaine from the two narcotic couriers.

“The operation which was intelligence-driven, was undertaken by a Unit of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT),” he said.

Adejobi said the case and the two suspects were subsequently transferred to the NDLEA on January 25.

He said the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the Inspector General of Police established reasonable grounds for strong suspicion that the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) officers involved in the operation could have been involved in some underhand and unprofessional dealings.

The Police spokesman said the finding showed that the officers were allegedly involved in official corruption which compromised ethical standards in their dealings with the suspects and exhibits recovered.

“Beyond this, the Police investigation also established that the international narcotics cartel involved in this case have strong ties with some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) who are on their pay roll.

“The two arrested drug couriers confirmed that the modus is for the transnational drug barons to conspire with the NDLEA officers on duty and send them their pre-boarding photographs for identification.

“The idea is to ensure seamless clearance, and unhindered passage out of the airport with the narcotics being trafficked,” he added.

According to him, the two arrested drug couriers also confirmed that they have been enjoying this relationship with the NDLEA officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 2021.

He said the narcotics, in the instant case of January 19, was identified and cleared by the NDLEA officers as customary, having received their pre-departure photographs and other details prior to their arrival in Enugu.

He said the suspects were on their way out with the narcotics when they were apprehended by the Police.

Adejobi said police investigations report had earlier indicted Kyari, who had been on suspension for alleged involvement in a fraud case being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

He said Kyari’s involvement in the recent allegation occurred while his suspension from service was subsisting.

“On the strength of the findings of the in-house Police Investigation Panel, the I-G has ordered the immediate arrest and transfer of all the indicted police officers to the NDLEA for conclusive investigation.

“Appropriate disciplinary actions are also being initiated against them by the Force leadership,” he said.

Adejobi said the I-G had formally requested the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA to ensure the identification, arrest and investigation of the agency’s officers involved in the alleged criminal act. 

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