The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has declared the suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team, IRT, DCP Abba Kyari wanted for alleged drug trafficking and being a member of an international drug cartel, amid being mentioned in popular Instagrammer, Hushpuppi’s case.
Giving a synopsis of what transpired, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi told journalists in Abuja;
“With the intelligence at our disposal, the Agency believes strongly that DCP Kyari is a member of a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline, and he needs to answer questions that crop up in an ongoing drug case in which he is the principal actor. His failure to cooperate forced the hand of the Agency and that is the reason for this press briefing.
Kyari initiated a call to one of the NDLEA officers in Abuja on Friday, January 21, 2022, at 2:12 pm. When the officer returned the call two minutes later, Kyari informed him he was coming to see him, to discuss an operational matter after the Juma’at service.
He appeared at the agreed venue of the meeting with the officer and went straight to the crux of the matter. This was it: His team had intercepted and arrested some traffickers that came into the country from Ethiopia with, according to him, 25kg of cocaine.
He proposed a drug deal whereby he and his team are to take 15kg of the cocaine and leave 10kg for the prosecution of the suspects arrested with the illicit drug in Enugu. In the meantime, the purloined cocaine will be replaced with a dummy worth 15kg. He asked the NDLEA officer to persuade men of the FCT Command to play along as well.
By 11: 05 am on Monday, January 24, after the Agency gave the officer the green light to play along, he and Kyari began a WhatsApp call for the rest of the day. The officer conveyed “their” willingness to play the game.
At this point, Kyari disclosed that the 15kg (already taken out) was shared between the informants that provided information for the seizure and he and his men of the IRT of the Nigerian Police,” he said.
“He then offered to pay the NDLEA team (that is the officer and the FCT commander) by selling, on their behalf, half of the remaining 10kg, thereby further reducing the original cocaine for the prosecution to just 5kg. At N7m per kilogram, the proceeds from the 5kg would amount to N35m, at the exchange rate of N570 per dollar being the black market rate for the day, January 24, 2022. In effect, he would be delivering $61, 400 to the NDLEA team.
He put pressure on our officer to wrap up the arrangement with the commander of the FCT Command to take custody of the drug and suspects from his men who were on ground in Abuja. At the time, he was speaking from Lagos, where he allegedly traveled for private business.
“In their discussion, he disclosed how his team received the information from a double-crosser who betrayed the traffickers to him, showing a sordid connection between law enforcement agents and the drug underworld; he narrated how acting on the tip-off, his team departed Abuja to Enugu and arrested the traffickers, removed part of the consignment on his instruction and replaced same with dummies.
He also indicated how to identify the remnant of the original cocaine that would be delivered to NDLEA, five original packages marked with red dots. The reason for this was to avoid the dummies being subjected to test. He forwarded a picture of the marked original cocaine package.
According to the plan, once the 5kg cocaine has been tested in the presence of the suspects and confirmed positive, there would be no need to test the remaining ones, being dummies.
He also brought with him the money from the sale of the 5kg share of the NDLEA team, a total of $61, 400. Our officer, however, preferred to take the money inside his car. Well, the car was wired with sound and video recorders. And the moment was documented, part of which I will play for you at the end of this briefing.
So we have a trove of intelligence, hard facts, from chats to photos and video, and a detailed transcript of the communication between him and the NDLEA officer.
This is not the place to delve into the details. But 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.’
“It is disheartening to hear him say of this rogue team, and I quote: “I do take good care of them, and this kind of work is done by only that team.
“It is equally disheartening to hear him give details of another similar operation which they pulled off, three weeks ago, according to him,” he said.
He also said Mr. Kyari’s brother was part of the cartel which also offered to bribe the officers of the NDLEA.
Kyari was however arrested hours after the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency declared him wanted over the alleged drug links.
A senior police officer at the Force headquarters told The Punch that Kyari was handcuffed and arrested like any other suspect.
“He has been arrested. He was handcuffed and will be handed over to the appropriate agency. He was not given any preferential treatment,” the police officer said.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Force, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, also confirmed Kyari’s arrest alongside four others.
The suspended DCP is also under investigation after the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America indicted him in the case of fraud involving an Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi.