A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to grant bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari and four other police officers charged with alleged drug trafficking. The ruling was delivered on Wednesday by Justice Emeka Nwite, who held that the defendants had not provided sufficient materials to justify granting bail.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants, involved in case number FHC/ABJ/57/2022, include members of the disbanded Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT): Sunday J. Ubia, Bawa James, Simon Agirigba, and John Nuhu. These individuals, alongside Kyari, were implicated in a significant drug trafficking scandal.

Justice Nwite emphasized that granting bail is at the discretion of the court, and in this instance, the defendants failed to meet the necessary criteria. The judge’s decision underscores the serious nature of the charges and the stringent conditions under which bail can be considered.

Abba Kyari, once a celebrated officer known for his high-profile arrests, has been in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) since February 14, 2022. His detention followed allegations of his involvement in a cocaine deal, a charge that has profoundly impacted his career and public image.

The legal proceedings began on March 7, 2022, with Kyari and the four IRT officers arraigned on charges related to the drug trafficking case. In addition to these officers, two alleged drug traffickers, Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne, were also charged. Umeibe and Ezenwanne, apprehended at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, pleaded guilty to the charges and were subsequently convicted. In contrast, Kyari and his colleagues maintained their innocence, pleading not guilty.

Kyari’s legal team, in a recent application for bail, argued that he had been held in pre-trial detention for two years, exceeding the one-year period that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 considers an exceptional circumstance, even for individuals charged with capital offenses. This prolonged detention, they contended, warranted his release on bail.

Despite these arguments, Justice Nwite’s ruling reflects a cautious approach to granting bail in cases involving severe allegations such as drug trafficking. The judge’s decision highlights the judiciary’s responsibility to ensure that justice is served while balancing the rights of the accused against the potential risks of granting bail.

The case continues to attract significant public and media attention due to the high profile of the accused and the serious nature of the allegations. The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for law enforcement and the judicial process in Nigeria.

As the legal battle progresses, the court’s decision to deny bail to Kyari and his co-defendants signals a stringent stance on drug-related offenses. The next steps in the trial will be closely watched by both the public and legal experts, as they could set important precedents for how similar cases are handled in the future.


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