Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, granted a N50 million bail to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, but tied the bail to several stringent conditions.
One of the conditions is related to a drug trafficking case instituted against Kyari at a different court of coordinate jurisdiction by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The judge had earlier held that all the allegations against Kyari “are all bailable” and he is not “a flight risk”.
The ruling was delivered in the case (FHC/ABJ/CR/408/2022) filed by the NDLEA, which sued Kyari and his two siblings, Mohammed Baba Kyari and Ali Kyari, on 24-counts bordering on alleged failure to declare their assets.
Part of the charges read: “That you, DCP. Abba Kyari, male, adult, on or about the 14th day of February, 2022 at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Headquarters at No. 6, Port Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Area 11, Garki, Abuja , knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your Asset at Plot No. 1927 Blue Fountain Estate, Karsana, Abuja and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 35(3)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30, Laws of the Federation
“That you, DCP. Abba Kyari, male, adult, on or about the 14th day of february, 2022 at w. National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Headquarters at No. 6, port Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Area 11, Garki, Abuja knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your asset, a Plaza under construction adjacent to No. 13 Balin Suleiman Street, behind NNPC Petrol Station, Guzape Abuja.
“That you, DCP. Abba Kyari Male, Adult, and you Mohammed Baba Kyari, male, adult, on or about the 14th day of February, 2022 in Nigeria in order to disguise the true ownership of the property situate at Plot of land covered by Certificate of Occupancy No: 000271 issued by Maiduguri Metropolitan council Borno State by deposing to false Affidavit at the Federal High Court Maiduguri in suit Number FHC/NG/CS/9/2022 and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(3)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended).”
But Kyari’s legal team asked for bail on the grounds of the defendant’s fundamental rights.
The application was opposed by the NDLEA.
But Justice Omotosho held that Kyari proved that he would not jump bail when he refused to escape from the Kuje prisons when the jail break of 5th July, 2022 occurred, even though he had the opportunity of escaping.
The judge added further that, “This deposition was not challenged by the complainant/respondent which means it is admitted. This shows that the applicant is unwilling to run away from his trial and has shown willingness to attend court when required.
“This piece of fact will work in favour of the applicant, in that, it is proof to the court that the applicant would not jump bail if granted same. I note that there have been rulings denying the 1st defendant/applicant bail.
“I am, however, minded to grant him bail as he was been in detention for a long time and also based on his constitutional right to bail according to section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“He has not committed a capital offence neither has it been proved that he is a flight risk. I therefore exercise my discretion in favour of the defendant/applicant.”
The judge said the DCP must produce two sureties in like sum (about N 25 million) who own properties in FCT, adding they must tender their International passport and bank statement before the court.
Justice Omotosho, however, held that the execution of the bail is subject to developments before his brother judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, where the NDLEA is prosecuting him and other police officers for alleged drug trafficking.
The case was subsequently adjourned to October 18 for continuation of trial.
Meanwhile, at Justice Nwite’s court, Kyari’s bail application has been struck out for lacking in merit.
The NDLEA arraigned him alongside some members of his team as well as two civilians early last year.
The civilians, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, who pleaded guilty to possessing 21.25kg of cocaine, were sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.