From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has granted the application by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to review facts of the two defendants who pleaded guilty in the ongoing trial of suspended DCP Abba Kyari and others on alleged cocaine deal.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in granting the application, dismissed the objection raised by counsel for Kyari and other co-defendants that granting the request might jeopardise their case.

The two defendants, Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne, who are sixth and seventh defendants, respectively, in the matter, had pleaded guilty in three of the counts charged against them.

They were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, and specifically pleaded guilty to five, six and seven counts preferred against them by the NDLEA.

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the NDLEA and counsel to Umeibe and Ezenwanne that the objectors had not given sufficient evidence why they would be prejudiced if the court granted the request.

Justice Nwite aligned with the argument that keeping Umeibe and Ezenwanne in prison, while the trial of others last, was to infringe on their right to fair hearing, going by Section 36(4) of 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He held that the objection lacked merit and ordered the NDLEA to commence the review of facts of the sixth and seventh defendants’ case.

Nwite then adjourned the matter until May 26 for review of facts and hearing of the motion on notice.

The  NDLEA had, on March 7, arraigned Umeibe and Ezenwanne, alongside Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu on eight counts.

They were the suspended officers of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) Unit, formerly led by Kyari. They had pleaded not guilty to all the counts levelled against them.

After taking arguments from lawyers to the parties, Nwite had adjourned the matter until today for ruling.

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Source: news