By Ismail Auwal
A prosecution witness and commander of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),Mohammed Ajia, has testified in Abuja Federal High Court that the cocaine substance seized from two traffickers linked to Abba Kyari was tainted.
Ajia, the fourth prosecution witness,
who was led in evidence by NDLEA’s lawyer, Sunday Joseph, said only 80 per cent or four-fifth of the substance tested cocaine and the remaining 20 per cent or one-fifth of it was another substance.
According to the witness the unnamed other substance was used to adulterate the cocaine.
“After the substances were subjected to a test, the results tested 80 per cent positive to cocaine, while in others, there were traces of cocaine in them, which suggests that the substance must have been adulterated with another substance,”he said.
Ajia’s testimony was a pointer to some of the charges pending against Mr Kyari, a suspended deputy commissioner of police, and four other police officers in his Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The NDLEA accused them of tampering with the 21.35 kilogrammes cocaine seized from two men arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on 19 January this year.
It also alleged that Kyari and his team members removed and disposed 17.55 kilogrammes of the cocaine, and then, substituted same with some other substance.
It also accused Kyari of attempting to obstruct the NDLEA and its authorised officers by offering $61,400 to a senior officer of the agency as inducement at a restaurant on Port Harcourt Crescent, Area 11, Garki Abuja.
The motive, according to the charges, was to prevent “the testing of the 17.55 kilogrammes of substance used to replace the cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.”
It could be recalled that he NDLEA had previously accused Kyari, a suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, and his four co-defendants of adulterating the cocaine after seizing it from the two traffickers that smuggled it into the country through the Enugu airport in January.
The offences allegedly committed by Mr Kyari and his co-defendants between 19 and 25 January are said to be contrary to and punishable under various provisions of the NDLEA Act.
The four police officers with whom Kyari is now facing the charges are: Sunday Ubua, an Assistant Commissioner of Police; Bawa James, an Assistant Superintendent of Police; Simon Agirgba, an Inspector, and John Nuhu, also an Inspector.
The two persons from whom the cocaine was seized – Chibuna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne – had since pleaded guilty to the part of the drug trafficking charges concerning them.
The court jailed the self-confessed cocaïne traffickers two years each in June, following their guilty plea.