NDLEA Opens ‘Drug Trafficking’ Case Against Suspended DCP Abba Kyari
The prosecution called Patricia Afolabi, a drugs commander who is a part of the NDLEA team, as its first witness at the federal high court on Monday.
According to Afolabi, obtaining and performing forensic analysis on drug evidence is a task that falls under the purview of her job description.
On February 7, 2022, she claimed to have received one sealed transparent evidence pack from the agency’s forensic liaison officer, Abubakar Aliyu, containing 24 dispensing packs.
She claimed that each park had a 0.5gram white material.
She said that a request form for analysis was also attached to the package.
The witness added that out of the 24 packs, only 21 were cocaine.
“From the analysis, I conducted, which I labelled exhibit A-X, I found out that 21 of the exhibits contained cocaine, while exhibit H to G was found to be negative,” she said.
“I then issued an analysis report of my findings, which I signed and sealed. I repacked them as exhibits in a large envelope and addressed it to O.C. NDLEA Abuja.”
With no objection from the defendants, the court admitted all the exhibits in evidence.
During cross-examination, Afolabi said it was not compulsory for suspects to be present while the analysis is being conducted.
She also admitted to not being present when the substance was recovered by the agency.
“I was not present when the drug was recovered. I was not present when NDLEA received it,” she said.
“I don’t know who recovered the substance. I did not come in contact with any of them.”
Meanwhile, the court adjourned the matter till Tuesday to enable counsel to the other defendants to cross-examine the witness.
Kyari was on March 7 arraigned alongside Sunday Ubia, Bawa James, Simon Agirigba and John Nuhu who are members of the police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Others are Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne — two drug traffickers who were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022, the agency accused the defendants of conspiracy, obstruction and dealing in cocaine worth 17.55 kilograms.
Upon arraignment, Kyari and four other defendants pleaded not guilty.
However, Umeibe and Ezenwanne, the sixth and seventh defendants pleaded guilty and begged the court to “have mercy”.
On June 14, Emeka Nwite, the judge, convicted the two defendants and sentenced them to two years’ imprisonment each on counts 5, 6 and 7.