Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Court throws out Abba Kyari’s rights suit

On Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the suit after counsel for the NDLEA, Joseph Sunday, prayed the court that the matter be struck out.

• April 7, 2022
Abba Kyari
Abba Kyari

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has dismissed a fundamental enforcement rights suit filed by disgraced police chief Abba Kyari against National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

On Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the suit after counsel for the NDLEA, Joseph Sunday, prayed the court that the matter be struck out.

When the matter was called, Cynthia Ikena, lawyer to Mr Kyari, was absent. 

Mr Sunday, NDLEA’s Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, urged the court to strike out the suit.

Justice Ekwo said he was informed that Ms Ikena sent a letter, praying the court for an adjournment. 

But the letter was not filed by the lawyer and therefore not in compliance with the court rule.

The judge directed that the letter be shown to the NDLEA’s counsel.

Mr Sunday, who expressed surprise with the development, said he was not copied in the letter in accordance with the rule of the court. 

He prayed the court to strike out the matter.

After listening to NDLEA’s lawyer, Mr Ekwo struck out the case. 

Also, the judge, after going into the substantive matter and seeing that parties had joined issues in the suit, went ahead to dismiss the case.

Mr Ekwo had, on March 15, threatened to strike out the fundamental enforcement rights suit following the delay by Ms Ikena to serve Mr Sunday her further and better affidavit after being served with the counter affidavit since February 28. 

Mr Ekwo, in a short ruling, had threatened to strike out the suit if the lawyer was unprepared for the next adjourned date.

“Put your house in order before the next date of hearing and if you do not, I will assume you are frustrating this matter and the suit will be struck out,” he said.

Mr Kyari had said that the NDLEA’s allegations against him were fictitious.

The suspended DCP disclosed this in an affidavit in support of his motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/182/22 and filed before Ekwo. 

The affidavit, dated February 16 and filed February 17, was deposed to by Mr Kyari’s younger brother, Muhammad Usman.

Mr Kyari, through Ms Ikena, had filled the application to seek for his fundamental rights enforcement. 

In the document, Mr Kyari described the allegations against him by NDLEA as “trump-up.” 

He said the agency had failed to establish a prima facie case against him, and averred that the allegation linking him to an international drug cartel by the anti-narcotic agency was untrue. 

He said since the Nigerian Police Force arrested him and handed him over to the NDLEA, he had been kept in custody since February 12, without having access to his medical treatment.

He averred that his arrest and continued detention was an infringement on his fundamental human rights.

Mr Kyari, a former head of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), in an originating motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/182/22, dated February 16 and filed February 17 demanded a N500 million in damages from the NDLEA over alleged unlawful arrest and detention.

He also sought for an order, directing the NDLEA to tender a written apology to him in two national dailies. 

Mr Kyari, who said that his fundamental rights would continue to be infringed upon by the NDLEA if the court did not intervene, urged the court to grant the application for bail in the interest of justice. 

Mr Kyari and his co-defendants, who are police officers, in the alleged drug trafficking charge preferred against them and two others before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court, Abuja, are currently in Kuje Correctional Centre based on the order of the trial judge.

(NAN)

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