An Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations has ordered the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd.) to produce before it on 22nd March Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, who is facing trial for alleged drug trafficking at a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Until his suspension last August, Kyari was the head of the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police (IGP-IRT). Along with four other police officers from his squad and two civilians, Kyari is in NDLEA custody and facing an eight-count charge bothering on unlawful importation of 21.35 kilogrammes of cocaine.
The independent panel was set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other units of the Police.
Friday’s sitting where the order was made was presided over by a representative of the Nigerian Bar Association on the panel, Mr John Aikpokpo Martins, on behalf of its Chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd).
A statement by NHRC’s Deputy Director (Press and External Linkages), Fatimah Agwai Mohammed stated that Kyari’s presence before the panel was necessary because a witness of the petitioner had testified that the Police officer allegedly promised to reach out to him in respect of three missing persons, but nothing was heard about them.
The panel also ordered the new Commandant of the IGP-IRT, Tunde Disu to ensure that Kyari is produced before the panel on that date (22nd March).
Mohammed said: ‘The order of the panel followed information from panel’s counsel, Halilu Adamu that Abba Kyari is in the custody of the NDLEA and Police lead , Mr James Idachaba told the panel that the Police can no longer produce Kyari since he is no longer in Police custody, having been suspended’.
The NHRC recalled that the panel had on Tuesday ordered IGP’s Office to unfailingly produce the three victims before it.
Before the panel’s order, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Gudu, Abuja had ordered the victim’s release. But the orders had not been carried out.
Earlier, Idachaba informed the panel that he personally made some efforts to produce the case file in respect of the matter from the IGP-IRT Office.
He said he went to the Office of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, but he had yet to get details of the whereabouts of the three persons.
He further said that the disbandment of IRT affected their search for the three victims, adding that all the officers of the defunct team had been transferred to different Police commands.
He, however, promised to ensure that documents and information about the missing persons are supplied to the panel.
In a petition, the families of the missing person had alleged that their breadwinners were arrested and detained in 2019 by the Police and nothing had been heard about them to date.
The matter was adjourned till 20th March 2022.