The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has refuted allegations by the police that its officers in Enugu State are connected in the drug deal that indicted Abba Kyari, the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The police had reported that some officials of NDLEA at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, were listed on the payroll of some international drug dealers.
But the NDLEA stated that it had no reason to protect anyone indicted in the course of the current investigation of a 25kg cocaine deal reportedly involving a cartel led by Kyari.
Spokesman of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, yesterday, disclosed that the anti-narcotic agency remained dedicated to evidence-based investigation and that its resolve could not be weakened by any misrepresentation of facts.
Babafemi said: “To correct some inaccuracies in the information in the public space that NDLEA officers at the Enugu airport were the ones that received from the cartel details about the mule coming from Addis Ababa, the agency wishes to quote from the transcript of Kyari’s recorded conversation with our undercover officer and a portion of ASP James Bawa’s statement to the police as documented in the police investigation report, a copy of which was made available to the agency, to state that it is an established fact that it is the Kyari team that was contacted by the cartel and, without doubt, the records clearly show how their ring works.
“Recall that after NDLEA requested Kyari and others for interrogation, they were questioned by the police, after which they were handed over, along with the report of their interrogation.
“According to the police investigation report, ASP James Bawa, in his statement to the police, reveals he was called by an informant identified as IK from Brazil, who told him that a drug courier would be arriving on board Ethiopian Airlines in Enugu. He explained further that a pointer from IK, the Brazil-based informant met with him about 2.20p.m. on January 19, 2022, outside the airport and showed him a picture of the courier. Subsequently, they sighted the suspect as he exited the airport terminal after all arrival clearance formalities and he was arrested with another associate.”
Drawing attention to a recorded conversation with his agency’s undercover officer, Babafemi quoted Kyari as saying: “They are greedy, seriously greedy (referring to informants). We tried to have them accept 40 per cent, but they refused, except 50 per cent. They know the rudiment of the deal very well. They do the packing. From Brazil, one of the informants accompanied it to Ethiopia, and one give us information. He is the boy of the big baron.
“Yes, he will reveal those that are conveying it further, get snapshots of theirs without their knowledge and send them to us (Kyari’s team). So we already know the goods, pictures and the clothes they are wearing. So, my team will just be waiting, they will just see you and arrest you.
“Responding to our officer’s question on whether his boys are usually stationed inside or outside the airport, Abba Kyari said, ‘Yes, yes, some are outside while some are inside. They will just allow you to finish arrival formalities and arrest you the moment you come out.”
“The above no doubt establishes who the cartel was relating with and their modus operandi. Again, this is to correct inaccuracies in some reports and assure that the agency will not deviate from an evidence-based investigation that will spare nobody found complicit.”