Abba Kyari may not regain freedom despite N50m bail
Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, has been granted bail by a Federal High Court in Abuja, but he may not regain freedom.
Kyari, who is facing charges of failure to declare assets alongside his siblings, was granted bail on Thursday.
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had filed a 24-count charge against DCP Kyari, his brothers Mohammed Baba and Ali before the court over his failure to declare properties allegedly linked to him in his asset form.
The judge had earlier granted bail to the Kyari brothers who were accused of receiving funds from an international scam syndicate linked to Ramoni Abbas a.ka. Hushpuppi.
In his ruling on Thursday, Justice James Omotosho granted Kyari bail in the sum of N50m and two sureties in like sum.
Justice Omotosho added that the sureties must have property worth N25m within the court’s jurisdiction.
He ordered Kyari and the sureties to deposit their international passport, their statement of accounts, the title deed of the sureties’ property and recent passport photographs with the registrar of the court.
He held that the offences were bailable, adding that there was no evidence that the embattled cop is a flight risk or could fail to attend his trial.
Justice Omotosho noted that the NDLEA did not deny Kyari’s claim that he was in the Nigerian Correctional Service, Kuje during the last prison break, but chose to stay put instead of escape.
He said: “On the possibility of the 1st defendant (Kyari) attending his trial, it is pertinent to state that, according to the affidavits in support of the application, the applicant stated that he was in detention at the Kuje prisons when the jail break of 5th July, 2022 occurred and he stayed put, even though he had the opportunity of escaping.
“This deposition was not challenged by the complainant/respondent (NDLEA) which means it is admitted. This shows that the applicant is unwilling to run away from his trial and has shown willingness to attend court when required.
“This piece of fact will work in favour of the applicant, in that, it is proof to the court that the applicant would not jump bail if grated same. I note that there have been rulings denying the 1st defendant/applicant bail.
“I am, however, minded to grant him bail as he was been in detention for a long time and also based on his constitutional right to bail according to section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“He has not committed a capital offence neither has it been proved that he is a flight risk. I therefore exercise my discretion in favour of the defendant/applicant.”
Why Kyari may remain in custody
The judge explained that the final release of Kyari on bail would depend on developments in a sister case in which he was charged with four others on drug related offences.
Justice Omotosho held that his release warrant in respect of the case before him, will only be signed if the other pending criminal cases are concluded or that he is granted bail in those cases.
Kyari was on March 23 denied bail for the second time by Justice Emeka Nwite in the drug-related offences brought against him alongside ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, Inspectors Simon Agirigba, John Nuhu and ASP John Umoru – who is said to be at large.
The two civilians earlier charged with them: Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne were jailed for two years each after they pleaded guilty to the offences.
Justice Omotosho has set October 18 for hearing.
The charges claimed Kyari on February 14, 2022 failed to declare to the NDLEA property at Plot 1927 Blue Fountain Estate, Karsana, Abuja; an Estate at Linda Chaulker Road, Asokoro extension, Abuja, a plaza under construction.
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