Nigeria: Court Rejects Abba Kyari, Co-Defendants’ Bail Applications
The judge ruled that the NDLEA was able to provide sufficient evidence to warrant refusing to grant bail to Mr Kyari and his co-defendants.
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday declined the bail request by Abba Kyari, suspended deputy commissioner of police and former head of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The court similarly rejected the applications by his co-defendants, with whom he faces charges of illegal dealing in cocaine.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on March 7, arraigned Mr Kyari and four members of IRT along with two others on eight counts.
The IRT members among the co-defendants are Sunday Ubua, an assistant commissioner of police; Bawa James, an assistant superintendent of police; Simon Agirgba, an inspector; John Nuhu, also an inspector.
Mr Kyari and the four IRT members face charges bordering on illicit dealing in 21.35kg of cocaine between January 19 and 25, 2022, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act.
After their arraignment, the defendants sought applied for bail, arguing that they were entitled to bail on the grounds that the alleged offences do not attract capital punishment and that they are still presumed innocent.
But ruling on bail requests, on Monday, the judge, Emeka Nwite, agreed with the prosecution that sufficient evidence had been placed before the court to warrant the refusal of bail.
The prosecuting lawyer, Joseph Sunday, while arguing against the bail applications on March 14, had described Mr Kyari as a “flight risk”, especially as the police officer faces pending charges of money laundering in the United States.
“The prosecution has led sufficient evidence linking the defendants to the alleged offences.
“It is trite that bail is not absolute and at the discretion of the court. Therefore, the application for bail is hereby refused,” the judge held.