Criminal Law

‘I brought in cocaine through Enugu Airport with N10k bribe’- witness

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

A witness, Emeka Ezenwanne, Thursday told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, how he bribed security agents with N10, 000 to be allowed to bring cocaine into the country.

Ezenwanne, a convicted drug trafficker said the packs of cocaine were sent to him from Brazil. He made the revelation when he appeared as the fifth prosecution witness, PW-5, in the ongoing trial of the detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Abba Kyari.

The embattled super cop is facing drug trafficking charges .The Defendants are answering to an eight-count charge the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, preferred against them for allegedly tampering with cocaine that was seized from two convicted drug peddlers- Ezenwanne and Chibunna Patrick Umeibe.

At the proceedings on Thursday, Ezenwanne appeared in court to testify against the embattled police officers. He was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel. Sunday Joseph.

The witness, who is currently remanded at the Suleja prison, told the court that he brought in the cocaine which was sent to him from Brazil, using an Ethiopian airline.

He said: “My lord, what happened was that on January 15, 2022, I travelled to Addis Ababa to bring cocaine with the help of Iwolabi from Brazil. I used Ethiopian Airlines with my international passport.

“When I arrived in Ethiopia, my ticket was supposed to lead me to Cameroon, but I deliberately stopped at Addis Ababa airport so that I would miss the flight heading to Cameroon.

“The reason was so that I could meet the people that were to hand me the stuff.

“On January 16, around 8:30 pm Ethiopian time, the flight coming from Brazil arrived. Few minutes after, they called me on phone. The first person that called me is known as Alhaji.

“He called and asked where I was. I told him to meet me at the lounge. He came and handed over to me, six sachets of cocaine on white cotton pack and left.

“In January 19, in the morning, around 8am, we boarded a flight going to Enugu international airport.

“When we arrived at Enugu international airport, I was the first person to come out from the airport. I stood at the car park waiting for my second to come out.

“When he came out and was heading towards me, one woman and two men intercepted him.

“When I looked at them, I noticed that they were having an argument. As I came close to know what was happening, there was one Sienna car that was parked there. As I arrived, the four doors of the car opened and men jumped out from the car. What I heard was, ‘I did not see this one o’.

“On January 21, they took us to one Grade 1 Magistrate court here in Abuja. When we got there, after some time, about an hour, the person that took us there, the 4th Defendant, told us that his boss said they should bring us back.

“When we asked him why he said he did not know but that they are trying to help us.

“When they took us back to the station, the team leader came to us and said they were taking us to the NDLEA.

“I knelt down immediately and begged him not to take us there. He said it was a directive from his boss but that they are still having a discussion on the matter. So, they took us back to the cell.

“On January 25, around 4pm, they brought us out again. I asked my IPO, AY, where they were taking us to and he said it was to the NDLEA.

“When we came out to enter the car, when we saw our bags, we noticed that the size was not the same again.

“As we carried the bags inside the car, we also noticed that the weight had reduced.

“After then, they took us to the NDLEA and the person in charge of the team, they called him ‘too much money.

While being cross examined by Kyari’s lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, the witness, told the court that he brought cocaine into the country twice.

“On the two occasions I brought drugs into Nigeria, I was not arrested nor stopped by NDLEA officials at the airport

At the Enugu airport, I saw NCDC officials  and immigration agents. I also met two men that took my passport and directed me to a table for searching.

“At the Enugu international airport, I was asked to give money to the people that will search my bag. So I gave them N10,000 and they cleared me”, the witness added.

The NDLEA had alleged that Kyari and his men, unlawfully tampered with 21.25kilograms worth of cocaine that they seized from the two convicted drug traffickers- Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwane- even as it also accused them of dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.

It alleged that the police officers committed the offence between January 19 and 25, 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) IRT, Abuja, in connivance with one ASP John Umoru (now at large), contrary to section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

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