As court resumes trial for the embattled DCP Abba Kyari and others over alleged drug offence, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday, July 18, presented its first prosecution witness, Mrs Patricia Afolabi
to testify in the case.
Afolabi, who is a Commander of Narcotics in the agency, was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Sunday Joseph, before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court, Abuja.
The witness told the court that part of her job specification involves receiving and conducting forensic analysis on drug exhibits.
She told the court that she had on Feb. 7, received from the Forensic Liaison Officer of the agency, Abubakar Aliyu, one sealed transparent evidence pack containing 24 dispensing pack each.
She said that each of the parks contained a white substance measured at 0.5grams.
Afolabi stated that the package also contained a request form for analysis.
From the analysis I conducted, which were labelled Exhibit A-X, I found out that 21 of the exhibits contained cocaine, while Exhibit H to G were found to be negative.
I then issued an analysis report of my findings, which I signed and sealed. I repacked them as exhibits in a large envelope and addressed it to O.C. NDLEA Abuja.
Joseph, who is the director of Legal and Prosecution Department of the NDLEA, apply to tender the 21 cocaine packs in evidence.
The defence counsel did not object to the application, Justice Nwite admitted the exhibits in evidence.
Kyari’s Counsel Questions Witness
While cross-examining the witness, Kyari’s lawyer, Sr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, asked her if it was true that every suspect in a drug deal must be present before analysis is conducted, a question the witness answered in the negative.
She said it was not customary that all suspects would be present when substances are also handed over for analysis.
When Ikpeazu asked her if she was aware that the substance was not recovered by the NDLEA staff from the two suspects at the Enugu International Airport, Afolabi said;
I don’t know who recovered the substance. I did not come in contact with any of them.
The senior lawyer further asked her if she knew those who recovered the substance from the suspects and the witness also gave a negative response.
When Ikpeazu said the cocaine packs were recovered from the suspects by the officers of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector-General of Police, Afolabi simply said: “I don’t know.”
Then the lawyer asked her if she knew anything about the suspects in the matter, the witness also said: “I don’t know.”
Afolabi confirmed that NDLEA operatives are stationed at all entry points in Nigeria, including at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.
Justice Nwite adjourned the matter until Tuesday to enable counsel for the other defendants to cross-examine the witness.
Meanwhile, the judge also fixed Wednesday for a hearing in another bail application by Kyari and his co-defendants.
Nwite fixed the day to enable the NDLEA counsel to respond to the fresh motion filed by the defendants.