Legal Nigeria

Court Declines Release Of Abba Kyari’s Co-Defendant On Bail


ABUJA – Justice Emeka Nwite of a Feder­al High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, refused to grant bail to ASP Bawa James, a co-defendant in the drug trafficking charge filed by the National Drug Law Enforce­ment Agency (NDLEA) against the suspended DCP Abba Kyari and others.

The NDLEA had, on March 7, ar­raigned Kyari (1st defendant) and six others over allegations border­ing on cocaine deal.

He was arraigned alongside four suspended police officers in­cluding ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu as 2nd to 5th de­fendants respectively.

Also arraigned with them are Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne, arrested at the Aka­nu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

Ruling on the bail application, the court held that the NDLEA suc­ceeded in adducing reasons beyond doubt on why the court should not admit ASP James to a bail.

The court agreed with the sub­mission of NDLEA lawyer, Joseph Sunday, that ASP James (3rd defen­dant) was a “flight risk” and that he might jump bail.

The judge held that James Bawa did not tender substantial evidence to challenge NDLEA’s deposition that the character of evidence against him was very serious.

The 3rd Defendant’s counsel had argued that the court has discre­tionary power to rule in favour of the applicant since the offence was a bailable one.

Justice Nwite had, on March 28, fixed April 28, for ruling on bail ap­plication filed by James after that of Abba Kyari and other co-defen­dants were rejected on the grounds that James’ application was not ripe for hearing.

Although the five officers plead­ed not guilty to all the charges against them, Umeibe and Ezen­wanne, who are 6th and 7th defen­dants, respectively, pleaded guilty to counts five, six and seven counts preferred against them.