A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted and sentenced two co-defendants in a suit filed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) against suspended police boss Abba Kyari, to two years imprisonment.
The court, in a judgment that was passed by the trial Justice Emeka Nwite , convicted Chibunna Umeibe and Emeka Ezenwanne on counts 5, 6 and 7 of the drug trafficking charge the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, preferred against them.
It could be recall that the two who were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu while attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country, were on March 7 arraigned before the court alongside DCP Kyari and four other police officers- ACP Sunday J. Ubia, Insp. Simon Agirigba, Insp. John Nuhu, and ASP Bawa James.
Both Umeibe and Ezenwanne had upon their arraignment, pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking charge against them.
Though Justice Nwite initially adjourned to review facts of the case against them, however, On Tuesday, the NDLEA notified the court that it had entered into a plea bargain deal with the two defendants through the Director of its Legal Department, Mr. Sunday Joseph.
As a result, Joseph persuaded the court to accept the provisions of the plea bargain agreement as the court’s ruling against the defendants.
Consequently, Justice Nwite, in his judgement, convicted and sentenced the two defendants to two years jail term on each of the three-count charge against them.
The court, which noted that the two defendants were remorseful, held that the sentence would run concurrently, commencing from the date they were arrested.
The court also held that the defendants should forfeit their international passports in accordance with section 30 of the NDLEA Act, Cap M30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
In line with the plea bargain agreement, the court, approved Umeibe and Ezenwanne to testify as witnesses in the trial of DCP Kyari and the other accused police officers, even as it ordered the NDLEA to ensure their safety in any Correctional Facility of their choice.
It directed the NDLEA to constantly monitor the two defendants to ensure that they do not engage in any drug related criminal activity while serving their jail term.