THE Nigerian Police Force (NPF) on Monday said officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) were among government agents who colluded with drug cartels and took bribes at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, Enugu State.
The police stated this in reaction to the NDLEA’s declaration of the suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) Abba Kyari wanted over alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
The police said in a statement signed by Deputy Force Public Relations Officer Olumuyiwa Adejobi that Kyari and four other officers have been arrested and handed over to the NDLEA.
Police officers arrested with Kyari are Sunday Ubuah, Bawa James, Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu.
Another officer, John Umoru, is at large, according to the statement.
Explaining how the NDLEA officers allegedly helped the drug couriers through the airport and shared from the proceeds of drug sale, the police said, “The two arrested drug couriers confirmed that the modus is for the trans-national drug barons to conspire with the NDLEA officers on duty and send them their pre-boarding photographs for identification, seamless clearance and unhindered passage out of the airport with the narcotics being trafficked.
“The two arrested drug couriers also confirmed that they have been enjoying this relationship with the NDLEA officers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 2021 and had in this instant case of January 19, 2022, been identified and cleared by the NDLEA officers as customary, having received their pre-departure photographs and other details prior to their arrival in Enugu, and were on their way out with the narcotics when they were apprehended by the police.”
The police, however, urged the management to the NDLEA to arrest and investigate officers who allegedly colluded with the drug couriers to support the government’s plan to end illicit drug trafficking and sale in the country.
According to the statement, the police accused Kyari and the four other officers of involvement in an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, discreditable, unethical and unprofessional conduct, official corruption and tampering with exhibits in a case of illicit drug trafficking involving a perpetual trans-national drug cartel.
The police said the NDLEA had informed the Force about the incident on February 10.
The police gave the names of the couriers as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus.
The police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) arrested the couriers at the airport on January 19 when they arrived from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET917.
The police said they transferred the case to the NDLEA on January 25.
The statement added that the arrest led to the recovery of a substantial quantity of powdery substance suspected to be cocaine from the two narcotic couriers.
The police also confirmed that Kyari committed the crime while on suspension over his alleged indictment in a fraud case by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Earlier on Monday, The ICIR reported how the NDLEA declared Kyari wanted over his link with the crime.
In July 2021, the FBI had declared him wanted over an alleged link with Instagram influencer Ramon Abbas, who has pleaded guilty to money laundering, according to the US Justice Department.