Monday the 14th of February 2022, was a very eventful day in Nigeria, and it really wasn’t all about the valentine.
Yes, the love fever was in the air, however, the main buzz that rocked the country was the fugitive warrant issued by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) against the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
Things escalated so fast on the day, as within hours of issuing the warrant, DCP Abba Kyari and four other police officers were arrested, their offence not unconnected to a 25kg cocaine deal which kicked off at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, on the 19th of January 2022.
Following the arrests, various narratives have emerged as regards what transpired; a rift between agencies seem to be brewing even as the NDLEA and the Nigerian Police Force have continued to point fingers at each other, with regards to with outfit has ties to the drug cartels operating from Brazil and Ethiopia.
And while there might be a lot of information shared out there, Nigerians still seem left in the dark, there have been various postulations regarding what has happened, yet the answers seem to beg more questions and here below are a few of those questions Nigerians need answered.
1. Abba Kyari operated as a cop while he was suspended?
Prior to his arrest on Monday, Abba Kyari who was head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), was a wanted man by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
As at July 2021, there were reports of a request to have him extradited to the United States of America, for his link to a fraud syndicate led by international scammer, Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
By August of the same year, the Police Service Commission (PSC) suspended the indicted cop, even as more investigations were being carried out into his relationship with the scam artist.
It is based on this premise that Nigerians were shocked to find out that the same Kyari who was purportedly suspended, had been operating as a police officer until as recently as January 2022.
The question then becomes how is that possible, who authorized his operations, who does he report to and who monitors him and puts him in check, or has he become a god to himself?
2. Will the NDLEA probe stop Kyari’s extradition?
For a while now, Nigerians have been watching anxiously to see how Kyari’s extradition plays out; now one can only imagine their apprehension having stumbled upon what some have termed a twist to the story.
For many citizens, the question is will this NDLEA probe hinder the handover of this indicted cop to the US Govt? How soon will the anti-narcotics agency wrap up their investigations and allow justice to be served?
If found guilty of the drug charges that should be brought against him, will he serve his sentence in Nigeria first or will he be transported first to America and afterward return to serve his term?
3. Who are the NDLEA officers linked to cartels in Enugu?
In its statement on the drug trafficking charge against Kyari and four other officers, the Nigeria Police said it ran an investigation which revealed that the drug mules who brought in the cocaine in question from Ethiopia, work for transnational Barons who have some agents of NAFDAC on their payroll.
According to the police, some NAFDAC officers stationed at the Enugu International Airport, have strong ties to these cartels and the two couriers arrested in this case, had for about a year been enjoying the relationship which always saw them pass freely with their drugs, unchecked.
Now Nigerians want to know, who are these agents compromising the health and safety of the Nigerian people? Will we get to know these individuals, now that the police have failed to name them in their report?
4. Will NDLEA investigate police claims about its officers?
As expected the NDLEA has defended its operatives against the police’s accusation, and while this is okay as a first step to protect the organization’s integrity, one wonders, does it begin and end there?
Will there be a second look at what the NPF has revealed or will the issue be swept under the carpet of a feigned collective amnesia?
Nigerians will love to see the NDLEA carry out a thorough investigation with regards to its staff and their operations in Enugu, for like they say, the wisps of smoke are an indication that a fire is near.
5. Who can Nigerians trust at this time?
Perhaps one of the biggest issues within this case remains, a betrayal of public trust. Kyari has always been seen as a super-cop, a hero for the people, especially in a country where security is a major cause for concern.
However, this latest case doubly shatters the hope of many, and ruins several foundations of trust between the Nigeria Police Force and the citizens.
The trust issue, however, does not end with just the NPF, the revelations made by the police give the nation yet another deep cause to be worried, as one wonders how many others might be involved in such sabotage against the nation.
Beyond the police and the anti-drug agency, this situation tends to cast aspersions on sister agencies who work closely with the Force and NAFDAC. Hence, the sooner the bad eggs are fished out, the better, lest a general tag be used to brand the agencies concerned with such civil matters.
6. Will this all end as one big joke?
There are many Nigerians who believe this might eventually end up to be one big joke and their reasons are not far-fetched. Kyari, the main figure at the centre of the saga, was initially suspended yet he roamed free and went on acting wild despite calls to have him extradited to the US.
This same individual has been seen in recent times “hobnobbing with the rich and powerful”, he totally feels untouchable, and there are some who say it won’t be a surprise to them if eventually, they see him returned back to the Nigeria Police Force.
Not so much has been said by the government regarding Kyari’s case, the last heard was that the present administration is working closely with the US Govt regarding the matter, and there is the possibility of an extradition.
Nigerians are watching the drama unfold, with eyes keen to see if this case will be given the thoroughness it deserves or if it will end as one big shaggy-dog story, with the joke being on the citizens.