A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted and sentenced two co-defendants in a suit filed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) against Chibunna Umeibe, and Emeka Ezenwanne, who were arrested for drug trafficking.
The two men were arrested by men of the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, IGP-IRT in January and were handed over to the NDLEA alongside the exhibit.
They were on Tuesday sentenced to two years imprisonment before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The judge ruled that having admitted to have committed the offence preferred against them in counts 5, 6 and 7 by the NDLEA, Umeibe, and Ezenwanne, who are 6th and 7th defendants, they “are hereby convicted accordingly.”
Justice Nwite sentenced the duo to two years’ imprisonment in each of counts 5, 6 and 7.
The terms he held further shall run concurrently, and would commence from the day the defendants were arrested by the NDLEA.
The two defendants, Umeibe and Ezenwanne, who are 6th and 7th defendants respectively in the matter, would be recalled are the two alleged drug traffickers arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu by the Nigerian police and handed over to the NDLEA.
They had earlier pleaded guilty to five, six and seven counts preferred against them by the anti-narcotic agency.
Meanwhile, bail application for Abba Kyari and 4 others who pleaded not guilty will be heard on 17th July 2022.
It was gathered that the two convicted drug traffickers entered into a plea bargain with the NDLEA thus enabling their conviction to be done quickly to enable the two drug traffickers who were given soft landing not to indict and mention NDLEA’s operatives as accessories during full trial.
According to Barr Sulieman Usman, one of Kyari’s lawyer, the agency quickly provided the plea bargain with the drug traffickers, where they got light sentence for the drug trafficking.
This he said was to avoid cross examinations and full trial, that will expose NDLEA operatives already mentioned and indicted by same now convicted suspects. He added that the two drug traffickers were given an option to choose jail on freedom.
He explained that the NDLEA had invited its indicted men from the Enugu Airport to Abuja few months ago following the police revelation but reposted them to various offices to avoid prying eyes.
According to Usman, one of Kyari’s lawyer, NDLEA has a lot of questions to answer for not taking any action on its officers that allegedly collected bribes and helped to create easy access through the airport for drug trafficking.
He lamented that how can police officers arrest drug traffickers and transfer same with exhibit to NDLEA yet the agency is rather chasing shadows prosecuting police officers while it released its men indicted by the video evidence and exhibit after inviting them to Abuja for questioning.
He further alleged that the NDLEA men were rather posted out of their best at the Enugu Airport for prying eyes after their indictment.
According to him, the agency is spending a lot of money to carry out media trial to kill the video and written confessions of the drug traffickers indicting her officers in Enugu from circulating.