Journalism of Courage

Just In: 2 drug traffickers linked to Abba Kyari sentenced to 6 years in jail

In line with the plea bargain, the court okayed Umeibe and Ezenwanne to testify as witnesses in the trial of DCP Kyari and the other accused police officers, even as it ordered the NDLEA to ensure their safety in any Correctional Facility of their choice.

Two drug traffickers and co-defendants linked to the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, were on Tuesday sentenced to six years imprisonment by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Emeka Nwite, the two co-defendants — Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwane — were convicted on counts 5, 6 and 7 of the drug trafficking charges the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) slammed on them.

Persecondnews recalls that Umeibe and Ezenwane were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu while attempting to smuggle substance suspected to be Cocaine into the country.

Also, the NDLEA had in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022, alleged that Kyari, who hitherto headed the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), and his men, unlawfully tampered with 21.25kilograms worth of cocaine that they seized from the two apprehended drug traffickers, even as it also accused them of dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.

The duo had pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking charge at their arraignment on March 7 alongside DCP Kyari and four other police officers — ACP Sunday J. Ubia, Insp. Simon Agirigba, Insp. John Nuhu, and ASP Bawa James.

Though Justice Nwite initially adjourned to review facts of the case against them, at the resumed proceedings on Tuesday, the NDLEA, through the Director of its Legal Department, Mr Sunday Joseph, informed the court that it has entered into a plea bargain agreement with the two defendants.

Consequently, Justice Nwite, in his judgment, sentenced the two defendants to two years on each of the three-count charge.

The court, however, held that the sentence would run concurrently, commencing from the date they were arrested.

The court also held that the defendants should forfeit their international passports in accordance with Section 30 of the NDLEA Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

In line with the plea bargain, the court okayed Umeibe and Ezenwanne to testify as witnesses in the trial of DCP Kyari and the other accused police officers, even as it ordered the NDLEA to ensure their safety in any Correctional Facility of their choice.

It directed the NDLEA to constantly monitor the two defendants to ensure that they do not engage in any drug-related criminal activity while serving their jail terms.

Justice Nwite subsequently fixed July 18, 19 and 20 for trial of DCP Kyari and his men as well as for the hearing of their fresh application for bail.

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