There was mild drama and confusion on Tuesday 19th of July when an operative of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, contradicted the agency’s claim about the quality of drugs seized from two drug traffickers by men of the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligent Response Team, IGP-IRT at the Enugu Airport.
Recall that the police under the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligent Response Team, IGP-IRT, had arrested two drug traffickers -Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne – on the 19/1/2022 at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport where certian quantity of hard drugs called cocaine was recovered.
But trouble started when the NDLEA turned around to arrest the police officers instead of arresting its operatives that were indicted during voluntary confessional statement by the two arrested drug traffickers, alleging that some of the Drugs were tempered with by the Police.
The NDLEA ignored the indictment of its men and instead charged the police officers alongside the two drug traffickers arrested by the police on the same charge sheet.
Surprisingly, the NDLEA invited its indicted officers from Enugu Airport to its National Headquarters in Abuja and after much briefing reposted them to other beats to avoid prying eyes.
The NDLEA however ensured that the police officers never got bail as it has used all tricks and influence to deny them bail while hurriedly arranging a funny plea bargain for the arrested drug traffickers in order to be used as prosecution witnesses during prosecution of the police officers who arrested them.
It was gathered that the drug traffickers suddenly became the darling of the NDLEA prosecutors and were given 2 years sentence starting from date of arrest instead of 23yrs and to choose any prison of their choice, all to pacify them not to continue indicting NDLEA officers in Enugu and the massive drug inflow to Nigeria through that airport.
Testifying under oath on Tuesday while being cross-examined by the defence lawyers at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the NDLEA exhibit keeper confirmed that only less than 20 percent of the whole exhibits including the 390 pieces of drug pillets handed over to NDLEA by the Police IRT were actually tested before NDLEA concluded that 3.8kg of the 17.1kg was not cocaine.
It was proven in court that the NDLEA based its court charges and investigation report on the crude none comprehensive test results which were later contradicted by the more superior confirmatory Lagos test report that confirmed 21 of the 24 packs that is 87 percent are actually cocaine not 16 percent as claimed by NDLEA.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday while hearing on fresh bail application was also held, the female NDLEA operative however contradicted the agency by confirming during cross examination that 21 out of the 24 packs, that is 87 percent of the white drug substances handed over to NDLEA by the Police IRT team tested positive as cocaine after the final confirmation test in lagos was done.
The Senior Female NDLEA officer has over 30 years working experience attached to their forensic office in Lagos. During her testimony before the court, she submitted the document that confirmmed 21 of the 24 packs handed over to NDLEA officially by the police are confirmed to be concaine.
Her evidence corroborated the police-IRT’s claim that they transferred everything they recovered with the suspects to NDLEA.
Interestingly, questions are being asked why will the NDLEA be insisting that suspected drugs recovered by the police, investigated and transferred to the agency officially is tempered with when the agency did not make the arrest, did not participate in the arrest and did not test the drugs at the point of arrest.
This was even as its officers in Enugu Airport allegedly collected money and released same drugs and suspects before the police arrested them outside airport car park as confessed by the Drug traffickers arrested by the Police.
The police team is arguing that instead of commending the Police for arresting the Drug traffickers, the NDLEA decided to go after the police while shielding the main Actors, that is the NDLEA officers in Enugu and the 4 Drug Barons Sponsoring the whole Massive Drug importation through Enugu Airport.
Also it was allegedly confirmed by the informant in Brazil that more drugs are still coming into Nigeria through the same Enugu Airport as NDLEA refused to arrest their officers in Enugu and refused to arrest or declare wanted the 4 Major Drug Barons names and phone numbers given to NDLEA who are sponsoring all the Cocain importation through Enugu Airport as confessed by the Drug traffickers arrested by the police and transferred to NDLEA.
NDLEA was accused in court for giving soft landing to the Drug traffickers who indicted NDLEA while NDLEA officers who collected money to allow the drug traffickers and major Drug Barons mentioned are all allowed to continue. The court argument noted that the NDLEA officers in Enugu and the Drug Barons mentioned were supposed to be the first line of focus and action for a true Drug fighting organisation.
The NDLEA officers in Enugu Airport were further alleged to be making N10 million per person and over N200 million naira from over 20 drug traffickers that arrive in each Ethiopian airline by the arrested drug traffickers now in jail.
It was reported that the police arrested the two men with drugs after they were cleared by NDLEA officers at the airport before transferring them to the NDLEA in Abuja.
Soon the NDLEA declared wanted all the police officers who arrested the two suspects alongside the former leader of the IRT Team, DCP Abba kyari, with the later under suspension but called to intervene to ensure the whistleblower who made the arrest possible to be compensated by the NDLEA.
It was revealed that the NDLEA officer who kyari knows for many years deliberately set the former IRT Boss up and also alleged that some of the drugs the Police transferred to them officially were tampered with, all in an effort to cover and shield the NDLEA officers in Enugu Airport and shift the focus on the police, it was alleged in court.
During the court proceedings on Monday and Wednesday, witnesses brought by NDLEA confessed during cross examinations by the defence counsels that, contrary to what the NDLEA is claiming, 87 Percent of the white Substances the police team arrested and transferred to NDLEA are actually cocaine while NDLEA was claiming its only about 16 percent of the substances that are cocaine in their report.
This has cast doubts on what NDLEA is doing and the charges of tempering with exhibits they filed in court against the Police.
It was revealed during the country proceedings that the drugs were not tempered with but that the 13 per cent that was not cocaine came from Brazil as always the case.
By Rabbi Luka
Media Adviser to the defence counsels