In a bid to stall his ongoing trial for drug trafficking, the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, has filed an application seeking to quash the criminal charges levelled against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The former commander, Intelligence Response Team, claimed that his trial should not proceed because he has not been subjected to the internal disciplinary action of the Nigeria Police Council and the Police Service Commission, as provided by the constitution.
Kyari, DCP Sunday Ubuha, ASP Bawa James, and Inspectors Simon Agirigba and John Nuhu, are currently standing trial on a five-count charge for drug trafficking.
A motion on notice seeking to strike out the charges dated October 12, 2022, was filed last Thursday by Kyari’s legal team led by Dr Ikpeazu Ikpeazu (SAN).
This is coming ahead of the trial of the embattled DCP and four co-accused persons scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The PUNCH gathered that Kyari’s application was to prevent the prosecution witnesses, Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne, from opening up on his alleged drug trafficking operations.
Umeibe and Ezenwanne, who had earlier been summarily convicted for drug dealing, will testify against Kyari, Ubuha, James, Agirigba and Nuhu when the hearing commences on Wednesday.
The PUNCH learnt that the NDLEA would oppose the application which has also been fixed for hearing on Wednesday ahead of the drug case against the applicants.
Kyari had earlier filed a bail application which was denied by the court for lack of sufficient documents and evidence.
In their latest application, the applicants said the failure of the complainant (Federal Government) to await the disciplinary action against them rendered the charge incompetent and deprived the court of jurisdiction to entertain the charge.
The motion read, “Take notice that this court shall be moved on October 19, 2022, at the hour of 9’O clock in the forenoon or so soon thereafter as counsel may be heard on behalf of the first, fourth and fifth defendants/applicants praying the court for the following orders:
“(a)Quashing or striking out or setting aside this charge FHC/ABJ/CR/57/2022 and any or all proceedings therein before this court and for such other orders as this court may deem fit.
“Take further notice that the grounds of this application include: the applicants are serving police officers in the employment of Nigeria Police Force. The applicants are subject to disciplinary measures by the Nigeria Police Council and the Police Service Commission with the powers to investigate these offences allegedly committed in the course of the applicants’ duties.
“Internal disciplinary action of the Nigeria Police Council and Police Service Commission provided by the constitution against the applicants is a condition precedent before the applicants can be charged by any other security agent/agency.
“The disciplinary action taken by the Nigeria Police Council and Police Service Commission commenced earnestly and the applicants had previously answered queries issued to them by the police authorities before this charge was filed against the applicants. This charge wrongly truncated the disciplinary procedure commenced by the Nigeria Police Council and Police Service Commission.”
An affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Kyari’s younger brother, Mohammed, explained that the detained police officers were unable to stand trial before the Force Disciplinary Committee because they were held by the NDLEA.
The applicants’ lawyers also attached a written address where they urged the court to resolve the sole issue in favour of the embattled cops.