The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) has granted the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) permission to confiscate assets and bank accounts belonging to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari and his co-accused persons.
The NDLEA had forwarded a request to the AGF for approval to seize the assets of the suspects arrested for alleged involvement in a drug deal.
According to a report, a senior official of the Ministry of Justice, who spoke on the issue said, “The AGF has endorsed the request by the NDLEA seeking approval for the confiscation of the assets of Abba Kyari and the other police officers involved in drug dealing.
“With the approval, the drug agency can now go after their property such as real estate, bank accounts, cash, vehicles, stocks, bonds, and anything of monetary value.”
According to the request by the NDLEA, the seizure of the assets of the accused persons was to ensure that they did not benefit from the proceeds of crime.
Kyari and four others, ACP Sunday Ubua, Bawa James, Simon Agirigba and John Nuhu, were arraigned before an Abuja Federal High Court on March 7 on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obstruction, dealing in cocaine and other related offenses.
Two other suspects arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, were also listed as defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022.
The sum of N4.2 billion was reportedly traced to Kyari and Ubua’s bank accounts.
The ICIR contacted Umar Gwandu, a Special Assistant to the AGF on Media, to get further details on the case. But he did not respond.
NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi confirmed in the report that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, gave the approval.
Babafemi said it was standard practice to freeze the bank accounts of accused persons.
Kyari, who was also declared wanted in the United States for his alleged involvement in a $1.1 million scam carried out by a notorious scammer, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi, was suspended by the police in July 2021.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.