Abba Kyari Granted Two-Week Bail to Attend Mother’s Funeral

Abba Kyari

In a notable decision, the Federal High Court in Abuja has permitted detained Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, who faces drug trafficking charges, to leave Kuje prison temporarily to attend his mother’s funeral.

Justice Emeka Nwite, overseeing the case, approved the temporary release of Kyari, granting him up to two weeks to participate in the burial rites. The court issued this ruling on Tuesday.

Previously, on May 16, 2023, Justice Nwite barred journalists from covering Kyari’s trial, which involves accusations of tampering with cocaine seized from convicted drug traffickers Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had requested the restriction to protect the identities of key witnesses.

Kyari, formerly head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), faces an eight-count charge alongside four team members: ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba, and Insp. John Nuhu. The NDLEA argued that the presence of loyal IRT members in court posed a security risk, necessitating the exclusion of unauthorized individuals.

A new bail application filed by Kyari will be considered by the court on May 31. Previously, on March 22, 2023, the court dismissed Kyari’s motion challenging the legitimacy of the charges, in which he argued that the NDLEA should have allowed the police to complete their internal investigation.

The charges allege that Kyari and his team tampered with 21.25 kilograms of cocaine seized from Umeibe and Ezenwanne and dealt in an additional 17.55 kilograms of cocaine between January 19 and 25, 2022. The NDLEA claims these actions, in collaboration with an absconding officer, ASP John Umoru, violate section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act.

Previously, the court had denied bail to Kyari and his co-defendants, ordering their continued detention at Kuje prison.