Fresh facts emerged yesterday on how the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, retd, met at Force Headquarters, Abuja, to decide the fate of the suspended commander of the Police Force Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, over his involvement in a 25kg cocaine deal.
The revelation came on a day the Police shut down all IRT units in states across the federation, following the arrest of DCP Kyari.
This is even as senior retired officers yesterday expressed disappointment over DCP Kyari’s alleged involvement in the cocaine saga, calling on the Police and NDLEA to fish out serving and retired senior policemen as well as politicians, who had been backing the suspended IRT commander.
Besides, the anti-narcotics agency has begun interrogation of Kyari and four others arrested in connection with the cocaine deal, assuring that it would not leave any stone unturned in bringing everyone involved to book.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the atrocities of some policemen and officials of NDLEA in drug deals reached the NDLEA high command since last year, following which some heads of departments at the operation units in some states were changed.
Kyari’s drug deal saga was reportedly one of the major complaints received by the Buba Marwa-led administration.
Marwa storms Police Hq unannounced
It was learned that on receiving the video clip that nailed Kyari, Marwa visited the Police headquarters on Thursday without prior notice. IGP Alkali Baba was said to be on his way out of the office when he was informed that Marwa was on the premises.
Sources disclosed that the IGP was stunned when the NDLEA boss disclosed the reason for his visit and further showed him the video clip where Kyari was heard negotiating with the NDLEA officials, in their vehicle.
- BREAKING: NDLEA declares Abba Kyari wanted, says he leads cartel of drug barons operating Brazil, Singapore
The following day, (Friday) IGP Baba Usman held a management meeting with the top echelon of the command where he briefed them on the matter at hand.
Before then, he had ordered the arrest of other officers fingered in the drug deal. They included ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simeon Agrigba and John Nuhu. They were all taken to Police headquarters where they were detained.
But DCP Abba Kyari was reportedly not seen on Friday. As Vanguard gathered that the search for him was extended to his Abuja home and the mosque where he usually had his Jumat prayer but was not found there.
Sources close to him revealed that when news of the arrest of his loyalists reached Kyari, he was advised to flee the country in order to evade arrest and the scandal that would come with it but he declined.
Telephone calls were reportedly made to some eminent personalities in Nigeria to prevail on the IGP and Marwa to play down the matter because of Kyari’s pending case in the United States of America regarding the ongoing trial of Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
Sources hinted that there was apprehension over Kyari’s temporary disappearance at the Police High command as at Friday night.
The IGP was reportedly worried because of the negative publicity Kyari’s disappearance would generate for the Police high command.
Kyari was eventually arrested on Saturday and taken into custody with other policemen earlier arrested, from where they were handed over to the NDLEA on Monday.
Fear grips Police suspects inside NDLEA cell as Abba Kyari rejects food
Meanwhile, Vanguard learned yesterday that Kyari rejected being fed with food prepared by the agency’s officials inside his cell at Gambia Street, Area 11, Garriki, Abuja.
NDLEA sources said he had been relying on food brought by a yet-to-be-identified friend, instead of eating what was prepared for him and other inmates inside the cell.
It was gathered that the once respected and highly rated police officer confided in his fellow cellmates that he didn’t trust whatever officials of the agency would give him because he wants to be alive to declare his innocence over the allegations against him.
It was also learned that almost 24 hours after he was declared wanted by the agency and later arrested by the police and handed over to them, no visitor has been allowed to see him and four other personnel of the IGP team.
This, according to sources, is based on directives from NDLEA boss, Buba Marwa, that none of the suspects should be allowed to receive visitors until the agency completes investigations into allegations against them.
However, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, was quoted as saying that the suspects were being fed as and when due and that no one was starving them.
“We allowed Kyari ‘s family members to bring his food based on a special request,’’ said Babafemi.
NDLEA men implicated being arrested
He also reportedly disclosed that NDLEA operatives also fingered in the drug deal in various airports across the country was being arrested one after the other, after which they would be charged to court.
When our reporter visited the IRT office at the old SARS office, former Abattoir, Abuja where Abba Kyari worked before his suspension, operatives of the unit were seen in groups discussing the fate that befell their once-respected and adored boss.
All of them refused to speak to the press over the issue. One of them, who courageously cornered our reporter outside the gate, said they have serious doubts over startling revelations against their former boss.
“We find it very difficult to believe all the allegations levelled against Kyari by NDLEA. It smacks of mischief against the Police. Did you not notice that they did not talk much about their officials involved in the deal?
“Rather, they quickly capitalized on Kyari and our boys and we find it very hard to decipher why they chose to paint the Police so black without exposing their officials also.
“It was only a later release by Police authorities that gave full details of what transpired and made us know that NDLEA officials were also involved in the dirty deal. We would want them to name all their officials also involved in the deal,” he stated.
Former CPs frown at Kyari’s involvement
Some former Commissioners of Police who spoke with Vanguard on the condition of anonymity yesterday frowned on the involvement of Kyari in what they considered a high crime.
One of them, who could not hide his consternation, said: “His action is the height of indiscipline. He has been in suspension and as such, did not have any right to meddle in any investigation or police work, pending when he would be exonerated from blame.
“Besides, the Police Service Commission, PSC, instituted another panel to investigate his indictment by Hushpuppi. Was he expected to have been involved in any police work? Perhaps, he felt he was untouchable and that nobody, not even the IGP or chairman of the Police Service Commission could tell him what to do. “But he forgot that a Police job is not a family affair. I repeat, his action is the height of indiscipline for a cop of his rank. What an unfortunate way to go!’’
Another retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, challenged the Police hierarchy and NDLEA to go after senior policemen, both serving and retired, as well as politicians, behind Kyari’s excesses.
He said: “DCP Kyari’s display of disregard for constituted authority shows he has people backing him in the Police and the powers of the day. Police and NDLEA should go after these people, even if they are ex-IGPs. This was not the Police we left.
“I won’t be surprised if there have been pressures on the NDLEA from different quarters. But the good thing is that the issue is in the public domain and Nigerians await how events will unfold.”
NDLEA grills Kyari, four others
Also yesterday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency commenced the grilling of suspended IRT Commander, DCP Abba Kyari, over his involvement in the Brazil-Ethiopia- Nigeria drugs ring and deal to compromise 25 kilograms of cocaine in the custody of NDLEA.
Sources at NDLEA headquarters disclosed that in conformity with lawful practices, officials of the agency are bent on concluding the interrogations of DCP Kyari and his officers/collaborators by the end of work today.
It was gathered that following the request by IGP Alkali Baba that indicted NDLEA officers to be investigated for their roles in the drug bust, the agency would not spare any of its officers involved.
When contacted, NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said:
“We gave an assurance in our statement on Monday that ‘no stone will be left unturned to ensure that all suspects already in custody and those that may still be indicted in the course of investigations will face the full wrath of the law at the end of the ongoing probe and that still stands. If anyone has concrete information or evidence, our doors are open.”
Sources hinted that Kyari would be arraigned soon.
IRT annexes shut nationwide
Similarly, the Police has shut down all IRT units in states across the federation, following the arrest of DCP Kyari.
A wireless message which emanated from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of IRT in Abuja to all state coordinators and team leaders in the annexes, reads: “DECOMPOL Abuja directs you shut down all annexes. All officers and men to return back to Central Base Abuja.
‘’You are to discontinue all investigations and warn personnel to proceed back to central base immediately. Failure to adhere to this directive will attract sanction.