“He is a billionaire and we learnt that in his confessional statement he revealed that he owns properties in choice locations in Lagos and Abuja. He owns an estate in Lekki, in Lagos, he has a house in Victoria Island, he has an estate in Asokoro in Abuja, and another estate at Guzape, Abuja, that is to let you know how corrupt this young man, who was on his way to becoming the IGP of the NPF.”
Fresh facts have emerged on the process leading to the arrest of “super cop” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari and his subsequent hand over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) last week.
In a dramatic move on February 14, NDLEA at a world press conference declared wanted Kyari, who had been suspended from his duties months ago following his indictment by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for alleged involvement with Internet fraudster, Hushpuppi, in cyber-criminal activities.
The move became necessary following the reluctance by the police high command to accede to the request by the anti-drug agency to release Kyari for interrogation.
“But for the direct intervention by the presidency after the press conference questioning the delay in arresting and handing over Kyari to the NDLEA, the police high command would probably have continued to dither on the request to hand him over for interrogation,” a presidency source said.
Having assembled a watertight case, with graphic video evidence, photographs, audio recordings, WhatsApp chats, etc., against Kyari and his men, NDLEA, it was gathered, briefed the president and other persons that needed to know in the presidency of the depth of Kyari’s involvement in the drug ring. After securing the nod of the presidency to move against Kyari, the drug agency approached the Inspector General of Police.
The source revealed, “The NDLEA chairman, Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), went ahead to brief the IGP, who by this time was unaware that the president had been briefed. The IG was presented some of the damning evidence gathered against Kyari and his co-conspirators, urging him to release Kyari to the agency for interrogation.
“The IGP promised the NDLEA that Kyari was going to be handed over to them on Thursday, February 10, but that did not happen. Friday also came and went, and nothing was done. The drug agency waited all through that weekend, but nothing happened. And Kyari who, apparently, had become aware of the request suddenly became unreachable to the agency.
“Meanwhile, Kyari had started calling everyone in the presidency he thought could do something to put pressure on NDLEA to back off from arresting him.”
THISDAY checks revealed that the press conference by NDLEA was a pre-emptive move following a tip-off to checkmate an alleged plot by the police high-ups to shield the wanted cop from arrest by the anti-drug agency, according sources briefed on the matter.
Presidency sources told THISDAY, “The NDLEA got intelligence that the police were planning to change the narrative by parading some persons as suspects over the matter. It was when they (NDLEA) got wind of the move that they knew the police wanted to turn the case around. That was why they hurriedly addressed that world press conference last Monday.
“And immediately after the media briefing and reactions were pouring from across the world, the presidency called the IGP and directed him to ensure that Kyari was released to the NDLEA immediately. At this stage, the police high-ups who had been shielding Kyari all along knew the game was up and had to arrest him immediately.”
The erstwhile Commander of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police was subsequently arrested and handed over to the drug law enforcement agency that Monday evening about 5 pm.
Kyari has been accused by the drug-fighting agency of being a member of a drug-dealing cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline.
Alongside Kyari, four other suspects in the matter, namely, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sunday Ubua; Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bawa James; Inspector Simon Agirgba; and Inspector John Nuhu are presently being interrogated and further investigation being carried out on their alleged involvement in cocaine dealings, at the headquarters of NDLEA in Abuja.
John Umoru, also a key member of the Abba Kyari gang, who goes by the nickname “Too much money”, is presently at large. The Police Service Commission had directed the IGP, Usman Baba, to ensure Umoru’s arrest.
THISDAY gathered that the drug-fighting agency has watertight case backed with solid evidence against Kyari and the others.
Kyari, despite being on suspension, was said to have still carried on with his despicable acts. The source disclosed that there were more than 10 audio evidences, five video evidences, and pictures, stressing that what the NDLEA did was a “clean job.”
The source stated, “The fact is that Kyari was being shielded from being extradited to the US by the police leadership, which was terrible enough case and worse for a senior police officer to be dealing in cocaine.
“The modus operandi of Kyari and his men was that once they get information about banned drugs that were imported, such as tramadol, they would impound the items from the importer that brought them into the country and sell them to another cartel. That is, they take from one cartel and go and sell to another.
“He is a billionaire and we learnt that in his confessional statement he revealed that he owns properties in choice locations in Lagos and Abuja. He owns an estate in Lekki, in Lagos, he has a house in Victoria Island, he has an estate in Asokoro in Abuja, and another estate at Guzape, Abuja, that is to let you know how corrupt this young man, who was on his way to becoming the IGP of the NPF, was.”
THISDAY checks also revealed that the anti-drug agency last week filed an ex parte action in court to detain Kyari and his men for two weeks to allow it more time to conclude its investigation. He and his conspirators may be charged to court in the next two to three weeks.
Meanwhile, more trouble appears imminent for Kyari, as NDLEA launches a probe into the seizure of a large consignment of Tramadol, an illegal drug, in Lagos.
Sources close to NDLEA said Kyari and other had been linked to the alleged seizure of a large consignment of Tramadol in a warehouse at the Amuwo-Odofin area of Lagos. It was gathered that someone who claimed to be a pharmacist imported the consignment worth N3 billion into Nigeria.
It was learnt that the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), allegedly, got information on the consignment and stormed the warehouse where the illegal drug was stocked, leading to the seizure.
Sources at NDLEA said the agency ought to have been told of the seizure, which allegedly took place last year, but the Kyari team kept the information from the agency.
“What this means is that the IRT may have sold the consignment of Tramadol to a cartel after storming the Amuwo Odofin warehouse and seizing the Tramadol,” a source said. “We have launched a probe into the case with a view to getting to the root of the matter,” the source added.
Spokesman of NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that all suspects already in custody and those that might still be indicted in the course of investigation faced the full weight of the law. Babafemi said the war by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari against drug was uncompromising, adding that the on-going case “showed a sordid connection between law enforcement agents and the drug underworld.”
The spokesman said the NDLEA had a trove of intelligence, hard facts, from chats to photos and video, and a detailed transcript of the communication between Kyari and officers of the agency.
He said, “It is disheartening to hear straight from the horse’s mouth the kind of sleaze engaged in by this team of rogue law enforcement agents led by Kyari, the members of whom he described this way: ‘the boys are very, very sharp, they are very loyal.’”
Kyari had solved many criminal cases and was until recently among the most celebrated police officers in the country. But he found himself in troubled waters when he was associated with Hushpuppi’s cybercrime case. An American court ordered his deportation to the United States to be prosecuted along with Abbas Ramon, alias Hushpuppi, a request the Nigerian government was yet to respond to.