Court rejects Abba Kyari’s fresh request for bail
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed a fresh bail application that was brought before it by the detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Abba Kyari, who is facing drug trafficking charge.
The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Emeka Nwite, held that the suspended DCP, failed to establish why its previous decision that ordered his remand at Kuje prison pending the determination of the case against him, should be set-aside.
It held that the fact that Kyari and four other police officers that are facing trial with him, did not escape when Kuje prison was recently attacked by insurgents, was not enough to prove that they would not jump bail once they are released from custody.
Justice Nwite dismissed Kyari’s argument that the Kuje jailbreak constituted an exceptional circumstance the court should consider and review its earlier ruling that denied him bail.
He held that the development the defendant relied upon did not fall within the purview of sections 162 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, to warrant the court to vary its subsisting order.
More so, Justice Nwite held that since the NDLEA has not closed its case, both Kyari and his co-defendants could interfere with some of the vital witnesses or undermine their prosecution, if released on bail.
“The defendants has still not presented sufficient materials before me to warrant the grant of the fresh applications. Consequently, the applications are refused and my former order for accelerated trial is hereby sustained”, the trial Judge held.
Kyari, who hitherto headed the the Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, is facing trial alongside four members of his team; ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu.
The court had on March 28, declined to release the defendants on bail, pending the determination of the eight-count charge the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, preferred against them.
However, though the NDLEA had since opened its case by producing some of its witnesses, the suspended DCP, through his team of lawyers led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, re-approached the court, begging it to release him on bail, insisting that his life was in danger at the Kuje prison.
He told the court that he was being remanded with hardened criminals that his team made their arrest possible.
Kyari, who was inside the prison facility when the insurgents that were later identified as members of the Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, a breakaway faction of the Boko Haram terrorist sect, invaded it on July 5, told the court that he hid himself like a rat.
He told the court that though the terrorists had after they seized the prison facility for over three hours, opened all the gates and forced inmates to escape, he declined to run away, along with four other members of the Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, that were also remanded with him.
Ikpeazu, SAN, argued that the prison attack established “a special and exceptional circumstance” that should warrant the court to release his client and his men on bail, pending the determination of the charge against them.
The NDLEA had alleged that Kyari and his men, unlawfully tampered with 21.25kilograms worth of cocaine that they seized from the two convicted drug traffickers- Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwane- even as it also accused them of dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.
It alleged that the police officers committed the offence between January 19 and 25, 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) IRT, Abuja, in connivance with one ASP John Umoru (now at large), contrary to section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
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Armed robbers flee with $11 million in Ogun
A four-man armed robbery gang on Friday afternoon ‘successfully’ escaped with a whopping sum of $11 million at the Oke-Sokori of Abeokuta, in Abeokuta North local government area of Ogun State.
The four-man robbery gang, all clad in black T-shirts and jean trousers, wore black facemasks, and brandished riffles in an operation that lasted about 3 minutes.
The suspects, however, escaped the scene with their targeted money, stacked in two ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bags, after demobilizing the car of their victim, a Hausa trader, who rode the area in a Toyota Venza salon car, marked, (ABUJA) ABC 565 GN.
An eyewitness, who was at the robbery scene, observed that the robbery suspects, who operated in a tinted Toyota Camry ‘Muscle’, had at around 4: 35p.m on Friday afternoon, intercepted their victim right in front of the FATGBEMS Petroleum Filling Station at Oke – Sokori, where they forcefully halted the victim’s Toyota Venza car and forced the car’s boot open.
After gaining entry into his car, the suspects thereafter offloaded the two bags containing the foreign currency into their car and also zoomed off with the victim’s car key before security operatives arrived.
Narrating his ordeal to the two police patrol teams that later arrived at the scene about 30 minutes after the robbery incident, the victim, said he was returning to his base after an unsuccessful banking attempt where he had gone to deposit the foreign currency.
In his narration, the Abeokuta-based Hausa trader told the police patrol team that he had earlier approached the Oke-Ilewo branch of a new generation bank for the purpose of depositing the money, but was turned back on the premise that the banking hours had lapsed.
But while returning to his base, the robbers struck and the trader fell victim.
Confirming the incident, the command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, said operatives of the command were already on the trail of the criminals.
“It is quite unfortunate that the suspects had escaped the scene before our operatives arrived at the scene. But I want to assure you that we will definitely get them and bring them to justice.
“The command had immediately upon receipt of information about the incident, sent a signal across the state to ensure that the suspects are tracked down. All our technical units have been activated and for sure, we will get them”.
“I want to use this medium to assure the good people of Ogun State that they should not panic, saying that there is no course for alarm. They should remain calm, and go about their normal and routine businesses because our men will surely track down the suspects”.
NDLEA warns youths against drug abuse
The chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) has cautioned young Nigerians against the use of illicit drugs.
The NDLEA boss made the call on Wednesday in Abuja, while speaking on the topic: “Culture, drug abuse and the future of Nigerian youths” at the National Institute for Cultural Orientation’s 2023 Annual Public Lecture.
Marwa, who was represented at the event by Mrs. Anthonia Madubuike, praised NICO for its thoughtfulness in organising the annual lecture series.
Marwa noted that the event demonstrated NICO’s strong commitment and passion for eliminating the scourge of drug abuse and its consequences on society.
“This event is apt and timely because it creates awareness of the dangers inherent in drug abuse. It also sensitises members of the society on their roles in drug abuse prevention, treatment and care.
“Substance abuse has medical, social, economic and psychological consequences on user, family and on society at large,” the NDLEA boss said.
Marwa stated that young people who frequently use drugs are more likely to face problems such as academic difficulties, health-related issues, poor relationships with peers, and involvement with the juvenile justice system.
He also highlighted the negative consequences of drug abuse, such as violence, rape, suicide, paranoia, poor academic performance, dropping out of school, poor health, financial debt, and wasted resources.
He stressed that drug abusers are more likely to be involved in cultism, thuggery, kidnapping, terrorism, racketeering, and armed robbery.
Marwa highlighted the importance of empowering young people by providing them with high-quality education, skill acquisition opportunities, employment, access to healthcare, and social support systems.
“Addressing drug abuse requires a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services that should be accessible, affordable and culturally sensitive.
“Drug abuse prevention efforts should focus on education and awareness about attendant risks and enhancement of protective factors such as family and community support,’’ he stated.
Marwa advised that school curricula should include drug abuse education to enlighten young people about the risks of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He recommended that this education should be directed towards students, principals, teachers, counsellors, and school administrators.
He urged governments, civil society organisations, communities, religious leaders, professional bodies, and NGOs to work together and create a supportive environment to promote the positive development of Nigerian youths. He also advised parents to be involved in their children’s education, and pay attention to their activities, the company they keep, and their internet usage.
“Schools should also establish a tripartite communication between parents, schools and students.
“Leveraging technology and media to disseminate information, focusing on positive role models and inspiring narratives can help to shape cultural norms and attitudes towards drug abuse.
“Culture, drug abuse and the future of the Nigerian youth are interconnected.
“Recognising and respecting cultural values while addressing the challenges of drug abuse can provide Nigerian youths with opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to national development,’’ he stressed.
EFCC arraigns Lagos businesswoman Ramalan-Yaro, company for N140bn fraud
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned Saadatu Ramalan-Yaro, a businesswoman, for the second time in Lagos State, two weeks after her first arraignment.
The businesswoman was brought before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of money laundering amounting to over N140 billion. She is accused of not fulfilling her responsibilities as the director of Tsami Babi Resources Limited, a designated non-financial business, by not submitting the company’s activities.
The EFCC stated that Ramalan-Yaro deposited N100 billion into the company’s account with Zenith Bank without informing the Ministry of Commerce.
The act committed by the accused contravenes Sections 5(1) (a) and 16(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011 (as amended), and is punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
In the second charge, Ramallan-Yaro and M.A.Y. Fine Fragrance Limited, a designated non-financial institution, were accused of money laundering amounting to N40 billion. The accused pleaded not guilty, and the prosecution counsel requested a date for the commencement of the case.
The defense counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), requested bail for the defendant, which was granted by Justice Egwuatu. The trial was adjourned until July 12 and 13, 2023.
The bail conditions required the defendant to deposit her international passport with the court and provide two sureties, one of whom must be a public servant and the other a relative, with a total bail amount of N100 million.
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