The two news items which emanated last week from two departments or agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria concerning the detained former Head of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari  ignobly came as a coincidence in the affairs of a man who was once revered as a national hero in crime fighting.

While it was obvious that Kyari has found himself in a big mess from which his lawyers were trying hard to find a soft landing or temporary relief for him, little did many Nigerians expect the two news within the same week.

Just when the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami announced government’s approval to the request by the United States to extradite him to face charges by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced its readiness to arraign the same Kyari in court for drug related offences.

As it now stands, the former super cop is in a big dilemma as his fate dangles between his shipment anytime soon to America and forceful grip by the NDLEA to Nigeria court to face charges on drug issue.

It is still not clear whether the anti narcotic agency would suspend its arraignment and allow Kyari to be extradited to America to face the cyber scam related charges against which in any case occurred earlier than the drug involvement.

However, which ever that comes first, the situation seriously calls for a more cautious and discreet handling by the Federal Government as Abba Kyari being a principal suspect in the two crime related cases must be alive to answer to the charges against him.

For now, he is as innocent as the criminal code, the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights documents have prescribed.  He remains innocent until he is tried, found guilty, convicted or otherwise  by the competent courts about to try him.

We are of the opinion that whilst in NDLEA custody, Kyari should be given a high degree of protection from possible attempt at his life by those who may be remotely or directly connected to the offences for which he is being charged.

It is already in the public space that Kyari is linked to an international drug cartel whose sponsors have always remained faceless and would do anything to remain faceless even at the risk of terminating Abba Kyari’s life while still with NDLEA for any attempt at trying to spill the bean.

Here in Nigeria, history of extra-judicial  killing of principal suspects is not difficult to find for reasons not unconnected with possible disclosure of the identities of the dramatis personae behind certain crimes against the State.

We readily have as an example the case of Mohammed Yesufu, the pioneer leader of Boko Haram who mysteriously died in police custody after the military personnel who arrested him had handed him over to police.  Such mystery death foreclosed any chances of knowing the identities of those behind the emergence of the killer group.

As a suspected member of an international drug cartel, Abba Kyari is obviously at high risk as any attempt by him to disclose the identities of his associates in the illicit drug ring either within or outside of Nigeria places on him a huge burden of being eliminated.

Since the dawn of illicit drug trade in Nigeria, there has not been much record of arrest of high profile drug barons but rather errand boys who would choose to die than go town with the identities of their sponsors.

DCP Abba Kyari may not want to go down alone in this drug matter. If truly he belongs to an international drug cartel with members here in Nigeria, he may choose to openly reveal the powers that be, in the illicit drug space.

We would therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chairman of NDLEA, Inspector General of Police and so on to ensure that Abba Kyari is safe wherever he may be either here in Nigeria or in extradition to the United States of America.

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