By Taiye Agbaje
A Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Thursday, admitted the suspended DCP Abba Kyari to a N50 million bail in a charge filed against him and two others by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NDLEA had filed the 24-count charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/408/2022 against Kyari and two of his siblings; Mohammed and Ali in respect of which they were arraigned in May.
Justice James Omotosho, in a ruling on his bail application, granted conditional bail to Kyari in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge had, in an earlier ruling, admitted other defendants to bail in the matter.
While considering the bail plea, Justice Omotosho held that there was no evidence that Kyari was a flight risk and the he would not attend trial.
He held that the offence with which the former head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the police and his co-defendants were charged were bailable.
He observed that the NDLEA did not deny Kyari’s claim that he was in Kuje prison during the last prison break, but chose to stay put instead of escaping.
“On the possibility of the 1st defendant attending his trial, it is pertinent to state that, according to the affidavit in support of the application, the applicant stated that he was in detention at the Kuje prisons when the jail break of 5th July, 2022 occurred and he stayed put, even though he had the opportunity of escaping.
“This deposition was not challenged by the complainant/respondent which means it is admitted. This shows that the applicant is unwilling to run away from his trial and has shown willingness to attend court when required.
“This piece of fact will work in favour of the applicant, in that, it is proof to the court that the applicant would not jump bail if grated same. I note that there have been rulings denying the 1st defendant/applicant bail.
“I am, however, minded to grant him bail as he was been in detention for a long time and also based on his constitutional right to bail according to Section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“He has not committed a capital offence neither has it been proved that he is a flight risk. I therefore exercise my discretion in favour of the defendant/applicant,” the judge said.
Justice Omotosho, however, directed Kyari and his sureties to deposit their international passport, their statement of accounts, the title deed of the sureties’ property and recent passport photographs with the registrar of the court.
The judge held that, even when Kyari meets the bail conditions, the endorsement of his release warrant would be subject to development in a sister case in which he is being tried with four others on drug related offences.
Justice Omotosho held that his release warrant in respect of the case before him, would only be signed if the other pending criminal case before Justice Emeka Nwite is concluded or that he is granted bail in the case.
NAN reports that Kyari had been denied bail twice in the sister case also before the FHC, Abuja.
Omotosho adjourned the matter until Oct. 18 for hearing.(NAN)
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