From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, has filed a fresh bail application, pending his trial, in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Kuje Correctional Centre.
Kyari, who is facing drug trafficking charges, predicated his application on safety grounds.
Already, Justice Emeka Nwite has fixed tomorrow to hear the bail application.
In like manner, three other police officers who are equally on trial over the alleged offence- ACP Sunday J. Ubia, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu- also prayed the court to okay their release on bail on similar grounds. However, the third defendant, Bawa James, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), did not join them in the application.
Kyari’s counsel, Ikpeazu, said his client’s fresh application became necessary, considering the nature of assignments he undertook while performing his duties as a police officer. Ikpeazu submitted that some of the inmates on remand at the Kuje Correctional Centre were people who Kyari’s team at the Police IRT made their arrest possible.
This came as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), through its Director, Legal Services, Mr. Sunday Joseph, opened its case against Kyari and his co-defendants after urging the court to refuse their fresh request for bail.
Meanwhile, the NDLEA, yesterday, opened its case against the defendants by presenting its first witness before the court. The first prosecution witness, Mrs Patricia Afolabi, a Commander of Narcotics, attached to the forensic unit of the agency, told the court that part of her job specification involves receiving and conducting forensic analysis on drug exhibits.
She told the court that she had, on February 7, received from the forensic liaison officer of the agency, Abubakar Aliyu, one sealed transparent evidence pack that contained 24 dispensing packs each. The PW1 said each of the parks contained white substance measured at 0.5grams. She said the package also contained a request form for analysis.
Trial Justice Emeka Nwite admitted all the exhibits without objection from the defendants. Under cross examination by counsel to Kyari, the witness said it was not true that every suspect in a drug deal must be present before such analysis could be conducted. Afolabi said it was not customary that all suspects would be present when substances are also handed over for analysis.
The witness confirmed that NDLEA operatives are stationed in all entry points in Nigeria, including at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu. Asked if she knew if it was NDLEA that recovered the cocaine at the Airport in Enugu, the witness said she was not aware.
Meanwhile, the court has adjourned further cross- examination of the witness to today.