By TAIYE AGBAJE
ABUJA- Suspended DCP Abba Kyari, on Wednesday, prayed a Federal High Court in Abuja to grant him bail following the attack on Kuje Correctional Centre by Boko Haram who freed scores of their members.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports On 5 July, the Boko Haram breakaway faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) led an attack on the custodial centre.
NAN reports that the Federal Government said 879 detainees escaped, including all 68 imprisoned Boko Haram members.
Kyari and other officers of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP)’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), through their counsel, told Justice Emeka Nwite that their lives are in danger in the correctional facility.
Moving the motion for bail, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, who appeared for 1st (Kyari), 4th and 5th defendants, said granting his clients bail was a necessity because their lives are no longer saved where they are currently detained.
He said the officers who had performed excellently well in their profession by apprehending dangerous and high-profile criminals, most of who are in the same prison with them, should not be kept in the facility.
Ikpeazu urged the court to admit them to bail on liberal terms.
Also, Gboyega Oyewole, counsel for the 2nd defendant, spoke in the same vein.
But lawyer to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Sunday Joseph, disagreed with the defence counsel.
He urged the court to dismiss the bail application.
Justice Nwite adjourned the matter until Aug. 30 for ruling.
Earlier in the trial, NDLEA’s lawyer, Joseph, tendered the sum of 61, 400 dollars allegedly used by suspended DCP Abba Kyari to bribe the agency’s officer in the drug trafficking suit preferred against him and four other police officers.
Joseph tendered the cash in the open court before the judge when the third prosecution witness, Peter Joshua, was being led in evidence in the trial of the suspended IRT members.
At the resumed trial, Joshua, who works at the NDLEA, FCT Command as an Exhibit Officer, testified against Kyari and his men.
Justice Nwite admitted the cash in evidence as Exhibit 11 after the defence counsel did not oppose to the application.
NAN reports that the NDLEA had alleged that it had photo and video evidence against suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team, DCP Kyari, who negotiated the release of 25kg of cocaine from the agency in Abuja.
It alleged that Kyari was caught in camera where he offered to give 61, 400 dollars bribe to its officer in his (officer’s) car from the sale of 5kg share of the cocaine on behalf of the officer and the FCT commander.
NAN also reports that Kyari, who is the 1st defendant, was arraigned alongside four accused police officers, including ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirigba and Inspector John Nuhu as 2nd to 5th defendants respectively on March 7.
The NDLEA accused the police officers, who had been on suspension pending the hearing and determination of the matter, of alleged compromise.
They were accused of tampering and dealing with part of the 21.8 kilogrammes of cocaine recovered from Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne.
Umeibe and Ezenwanne were the two alleged drug traffickers arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu by the suspended IRT officers led by Kyari based on their suspicious trafficking in hard drugs.
Umeibe and Ezenwanne, who conspired with some other persons (now at large), confessed to the police upon their arrest that they carried the recovered drugs through Addis-Ababa, Ehiopia International Airport on Jan. 19 to Enugu Airport.
The suspects were subsequently brought to Abuja and handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.
They had pleaded guilty to five, six and seven counts preferred against them by the anti-narcotic agency bordering on importation of 21.35kg of cocaine into the country without lawful authority contrary to and punishable under Section 11(d) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The duo, who were later convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment, agreed to testify against the police officers in their ongoing trial.(NAN)