The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has opened its case against the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, who is standing trial on an eight-count charge, bordering on conspiracy, obstruction and dealing in cocaine and other related offences before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
At the resumed trial on Monday, the NDLEA brought a Commander of Narcotics attached to its forensic unit, Mrs Patricia Afolabi, to testify as its first witness.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Sunday Joseph, 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 February 7, 2022, received from the forensic liaison officer of the agency, Abubakar Aliyu, one sealed transparent evidence pack containing 24 dispensing packs each and added that each of the parks contained white substance measured at 0.5grams.
She said the package also contained a request form for analysis, adding, “From the analysis, I conducted, which I labelled exhibit A-X, I found out that 21 of the exhibits contained cocaine, while exhibits 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 them to Officer in Charge of the NDLEA in Abuja.
The court admitted all the exhibits in evidence without objection from the Defendants.
While cross-examining the witness, DCP Kyari’s lawyer, Dr Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN), asked the witness 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.
The witness, who said she has over 30 years of experience, said: “I was not present when the drug was recovered. I was not present when NDLEA received it.”
She confirmed that NDLEA operatives are stationed in all entry points in Nigeria, including the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.
Asked if she was aware if it was NDLEA that recovered the cocaine at the Airport in Enugu, the witness said she was not aware, stressing that, “I don’t know who recovered the substance. I did not come in contact with any of them.”
Meanwhile, the court adjourned the matter till Tuesday to enable counsel to the other Defendants to cross-examine the first prosecution witness.