Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Court dismisses Abba Kyari’s request to quash drug charges

Delivering the ruling, Mr Nwite held that the powers of the PSC did not supersede the powers of the federal high court.

• March 22, 2023
Abba Kyari
Abba Kyari

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has dismissed an application filed by suspended police chief Abba Kyari seeking an order dismissing the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s charge against him.

In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Emeka Nwite held that the court had the exclusive right and jurisdiction to hear drug-related cases as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the NDLEA Act.

Mr Nwite had, on January 18, adjourned for ruling in the application filed by Mr Kyari and three other co-defendants in the suit bordering on a drug offence.

The applicants are Mr Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubia, Insp Simon Agirigba and Insp John Nuhu.

They had prayed the court to quash the criminal charge against them in fresh motions on notice filed by their lawyers because the suit was incompetent and to stop their trial because they had yet to be subjected to the internal disciplinary action of the Nigeria Police Council and the Police Service Commission, as provided by the constitution.

They said NDLEA’s failure to await the disciplinary action against them rendered the charge incompetent and deprived the court of jurisdiction to entertain it.

But the NDLEA counsel, Joseph Sunday, opposed the application.

Mr Sunday argued that most of the cases cited by lawyers to the defendants did not relate to the Police Service Act, saying the instant charge against the defendant was a criminal matter.

He submitted that the defendants, through their applications, had not, by way of affidavit or legal argument, established any condition precedence required for the filing of this charge.

“To that extent, their application must fail and be bereft of any factual evidence,” stated the NDLEA counsel.

Mr Sunday urged the court to dismiss the application and proceed to the hearing of the matter.

Delivering the ruling, Mr Nwite held that the powers of the PSC did not supersede the powers of the federal high court.

He said the case’s subject matter was within the court’s jurisdiction.

According to the judge, section 251(2)(F) and (3) of the constitution confers the court the power to hear and determine the charge.

On September 5, 2022, in a fresh suit filed at the federal high court, the NDLEA accused Mr Kyari of non-disclosure of assets.

According to the fresh 24 charges, the NDLEA said Mr Kyari failed to declare his property ownership in different Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Maiduguri.

The anti-drug agency also said over N207 million and €17,598 were found in his accounts in three banks. 


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