Suspended Nigerian police officer, Abba Kyari and six others are to remain in custody of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency till March 14.
Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja gave the ruling on Monday March 7 following the arraignment of Kyari, Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Sunday Ubua, Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirigba, Inspector John Nuhu, Chibuinna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.
While Mr Kyari pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the eight drug trafficking-related counts brought against him by the NDLEA, four senior police officers also pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges brought against them. The two civilians in the trial, Chibuinna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne pleaded guilty to counts five, six and seven.
Shortly after the defendants entered their plea, the NDLEA, through its Director, Prosecution & Legal Services, Joseph Sunday, applied for trial date and for review of facts in respect of the defendants that pleaded ‘guilty’ to the charge.
The NDLEA equally told the court that it filed a counter-affidavit to oppose the release of Kyari and the other four former members of the Police IRT, on bail.
However defence counsel, Kanu Agabi argued that the charge against the defendants contained bailable offences, urging the court not to accede to request for facts in respect of Umeibe and Ezenwanne as it will be prejudicial to his client for facts of the case to be reviewed and decision reached on it, while the trial is still subsisting.
Agabi also noted that Umeibe and Ezenwanne were mentioned in some counts in the charge that involved Kyari and the others.
Justice Emeka Nwike adjourned the case till March 14 to hear the bail application after listening to arguments.