18/08/2022

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Nigeria top police chief sought for drug trafficking

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Nigeria’s number two police officer, suspended last year after being implicated in fraud in the United States, is now wanted by the Nigerian judiciary for his alleged role in international drug trafficking.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced on Monday that it had issued an arrest warrant for Abba Kyari.

The deputy commissioner of police, who was suspended in August 2021, was summoned several times to be heard on his alleged involvement in cocaine trafficking, but never showed up, the Nigerian agency said.

“He has to answer questions that arise in an ongoing drug case in which he is suspected to be the main player,” NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi said.

“The agency strongly believes that Assistant Commissioner of Police Kyari is a member of a drug cartel that controls the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria route” through which drugs are transported, he said.

Kyari, he said, tried to compromise an NDLEA officer in January by asking him to hide part of 25 kg of seized cocaine.

Kyari was investigated in Nigeria after a Nigerian social networking celebrity on trial for fraud in the United States claimed he was her accomplice. He had also been suspended from the police force.

Mr. Kyari had been implicated by Nigerian influencer Ramos Abbas, known as Hushpuppi, who pleaded guilty to money laundering and other crimes, according to US court documents.

Mr. Kyari denied the allegations at the time.