Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has approved a request by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for the confiscation and forfeiture of the assets of the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, and his co-accused.
The NDLEA had on March 7 arraigned Kyari, Ubua and four members of the IRT, Sunday Ubia, Bawa James, Simon Agirigba and John Nuhu, on eight counts of conspiracy, obstruction and dealing in cocaine, and other related offences before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Two other suspects arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, were also listed as defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022.
Already, about N4.2 billion has been traced to bank accounts of Kyari and his co-accused, ACP Sunday Ubua.
Sources confirmed that the NDLEA’s request for the confiscation and pending forfeiture of the properties and assets, which was dispatched to the Federal Ministry of Justice penultimate week, has been approved by the AGF.
With this development, the former Commander, Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team and his accomplices may lose their assets, cash and money in bank accounts; vehicles; real estate, notably hotels, residential and commercial buildings; personal effects such as wristwatches, jewelry and other valuable possessions.
A senior Justice Ministry official said, “The AGF has endorsed the request by the NDLEA seeking approval for the confiscation of the assets of Abba Kyari, Ubua and the other police officers involved in drug dealing.
“With the approval, the drug agency can now go after their property such as real estate, bank accounts, cash, vehicles, stocks, bonds and anything of monetary value.”
The source further said the seizure of the embattled DCP and his co-accused assets was to ensure that they did not benefit from the proceeds of crime.
The NDLEA Spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, had earlier confirmed that the accused persons’ bank accounts would be frozen, noting that this was standard practice.
Kyari, who is wanted in the United States for alleged involvement in a $1.1m scam carried out by a notorious Internet scammer, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi, was suspended by the Police in July 2021.
First published in Punch