The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Monday, March 14, accused three co-defendants, in the alleged drug trafficking case against suspended DCP Abba Kyari and others, of being unruly while in its custody.
NDLEA lawyer and director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Joseph Sunday, made the allegation before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court, Abuja.
The development came shortly after Justice Nwite fixed March 28 for ruling on the bail application of the defendants; including Kyari.
Sunday told Justice Nwite that ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba; as well as Insp. John Nuhu did not conduct themselves well while in their custody. Further, he prayed the court to make an order transferring them to a correctional centre.
“The 3rd to 5th defendants were very unruly while in our custody,” he said; urging the court to make an order for their transfer.
He said if they were ready to undertake to be of good conduct; the NDLEA would be ready to admit them back in its custody.
But counsel for the 3rd defendant (ASP Bawa James), Michael Mbanefo, expressed surprise at Sunday’s remark.
N. Y. Chiwar, lawyer to Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu (4th and 5th defendants), informed the court that the allegation was due to the difficulty of members of their families having access to them.
However, Chiwar undertook that the defendants would be of good behaviour. In addition, he prayed the court to allow them to continue to be kept in NDLEA custody.
Ruling, the judge held that in view of the undertaking by their counsel to the effect that they would be of good behaviour while in custody, “I am minded to grant the prayer.”
Nwite, however, said that if there was any report contrary to the undertaking, he would revoke the order.
Earlier, Mahmud Magaji, SAN, counsel for Kyari and Ubia, told the court that a bail application was filed in respect of his clients.
Magaji, who said the offences with which Kyari and Ubia are being charged are bailable ones; also said that the constitution gave the court the discretionary power to do so.
He urged the judge to grant the bail on liberal terms.
He based his argument on the presumption of innocence of Kyari and Ubia as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution until the court decides otherwise.
The lawyer argued that the law provides that the defendants be given an opportunity, time and space to prepare for their defence.
“The presumption of innocence granted to every accused person will be lost if the defendants are denied bail.
“The defendants have undertaken to be present in court throughout the duration of their trial,” he further argued.