Court rejected Abba Kyari’s request to have drug charges dropped
The application that was submitted by suspended police chief Abba Kyari to the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court seeking an order dismissing the charge that was brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency was rejected by that division.
According to the NDLEA Act and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Justice Emeka Nwite stated in a ruling that the court had the exclusive right and jurisdiction to hear cases involving drugs. This was enshrined in the ruling that was handed down on Wednesday.
Mr. Nwite had, on January 18, adjourned for ruling in the application that had been filed by Mr. Kyari and three other co-defendants in the suit that was bordering on a drug offense.
Mr. Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubia, Inspector Simon Agirigba, and Inspector John Nuhu are applying for the position.
They had asked the court to stop their trial because they had not yet been subjected to the internal disciplinary action of the Nigeria Police Council and the Police Service Commission, as is required by the constitution. This had been done in fresh motions on notice that had been filed by their lawyers. The criminal charge that had been brought against them had been quashed as a result of the incompetence of the suit that had been brought against them.
They claimed that because the NDLEA failed to wait for the disciplinary action against them, the charge was rendered incompetent, and the court lacked the jurisdiction to even consider it.
Joseph Sunday, the NDLEA counsel, expressed his opposition to the application.
Mr. Sunday argued that the majority of the cases that were cited by lawyers to the defendants did not relate to the Police Service Act, and he stated that the current charge brought against the defendant was a criminal matter.
He argued that the defendants had not established any condition precedent required for the filing of this charge through their applications. This could be in the form of an affidavit or a legal argument. He claimed that this was the case.
According to the statement made by the NDLEA counsel, “in that regard, their application must fail and be devoid of any factual evidence.”
Mr. Sunday pleaded with the judge to deny the application and move on with the hearing of the matter.
Mr. Nwite, who was in charge of delivering the decision, came to the conclusion that the powers held by the PSC were not superior to those held by the federal high court.
He stated that the issue at hand fell within the purview of the court’s authority to decide.
According to the judge, the constitutional provisions of section 251(2)(F) and (3) give the court the authority to investigate and make a decision regarding the charge.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) filed a new lawsuit against Mr. Kyari on September 5, 2022, accusing him of failing to disclose his assets. The suit was submitted to the Federal High Court.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said in the newly filed 24 charges that Mr. Kyari failed to declare his ownership of various properties in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Maiduguri.
Additionally, according to the anti-drug agency, they discovered over N207 million and €17,598 in his accounts spread across three different banks.