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Court to hear Abba Kyari’s bail plea June 14



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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, fixed June 14 to hear another bail application filed by Abba Kyari, the suspended DCP in the alleged cocaine offence preferred against him and others by National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the date after taking arguments from counsel for the parties in the suit.

Kyari and three of the five of his colleagues in the Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police had filed another bail application.

They are ACP Ubia, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp.John Nuhu, listed as 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants respectively.

However, their colleague, ASP Bawa James, who is the 3rd defendant in the criminal trail, did not join in the application for bail.

At a resumed hearing, lawyer to the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Sunday Joseph, informed that the matter was slated for review of facts of 6th and 7th defendants who had pleaded guilty to the counts preferred against them.

He said he was ready for the business of the day if it was convinient for the court.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne are the 6th and 7th defendants, the two alleged drug traffickers that were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

Umeibe and Ezenwanne, had pleaded guilty to five, six and seven counts preferred against them and are being remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre.

NAN reports that Nwite had, in a ruling on April 28, dismissed the objection by Kyari and some other defendants to the prosecution’s request to review facts of the case as it relates to Umeibe and Ezenwane.

The judge then adjourned till May 26 for the prosecution to review facts, following which the duo would be sentenced.

But Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, counsel for Kyari and suspended ACP Sunday Ubia, said though Joseph might be ready for the review of facts of the two defendants, he had a motion before the court.

Ikpeazu said the application, which sought for bail for the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants, had been filed and served on the NDLEA.


He said the application became necessary due to the nature of the work the defendants had done in the course of policing the country.

Ikpeazu said the defendants are being remanded with criminals in the correctional centre, who through them, their arrests were made possible.

He urged Justice Nwite to hear the matter because it dealt with issues of life of the applicants.

The senior lawyer said their lives are at risk at the Kuje Correctional Centre where they are being remanded.

“While the prosecution is ready, we believe the issue of bail is important. We plead passionately that we hear that.

“We are of most humble view that having regards to what we have argued, my lord we look into that.

“The facts are so glearing. The antecedent of the 1st and 2nd defendants and other defendants; what they have done in the last few years in their profession. I don’t want to go into the details,” he said.

M. Y. Chiwar, counsel for the 4th and 5th defendants, also aligned himself with Ikpeazu’s submission.

He said the issue of their bail revolved around issues of fundamental rights which bordered about life.

Lawyer to the 3rd defendant (Bawa James), Michael Mbanefo said his client was not part of the fresh motion for bail.

Reacting, Joseph disagreed with Ikpeazu and Chiwar.

Joseph, who is the director of Legal and Prosecution Department of the NDLEA, insisted that the order in which the court adjourned matter was for review of facts.

He said issues of bail could come after the court must have taken the business of the day.

Besides, he argued that the issue of bail is at the discretion of the court and that this was exercised by the court sometimes ago.


He further argued that it was the fundamental rights of Umeibe and Ezenwanne to have a fair trial within a reasonable time as guaranteed by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

He said amidst contending issues, the court should give greater priority to the fundanebtal rights of the duo.

“I submit that most appropriate thing to do as adjourned by the court is to commence the review of facts in respect of the 6th and 7th defendants who have elected to plead guilty so that their fate can be known in good time rather than dragging them up and down with defendants who have chosen to undergo the real trial,” he said.

Ikeazu told the court that beside the new motion for bail, his clients also filed an application for injunction to restrain the prosecution from proceeding to review facts, pending the determination of their appeal at the Court of Appeal.

He added that his clients have also filed a similar application for injunction before the trial court.

Joseph faulted the approach adopted by Ikpeazu and argued that it was intended to delay proceedings.

The lawyer, who said he was not served with Ikpeazu’s application for injunction, noted that the court had, before now declined Kyari and others’ bail applications and also rejected their opposition to the review of facts.

He argued that the fresh motions filed by the defendants amounted to an abuse of court process and were calculated at causing delay.

He urged the court to allow the prosecution to proceed with the planned review of facts.

Ruling, Justice Nwite noted that since the prosecution and some of the defendants were yet to be served with all the fresh processes filed by Kyari and others, there was need for an adjournment for them to be served.

He then adjourned the matter until June 14 for the hearing of Kyari and others’ motion for bail and their application for injunction.

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