The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Monday kick-started its case of hard drug trafficking charges against the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Abba Kyari, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The agency brought a Commander of Narcotics attached to its forensic unit, Mrs Patricia Afolabi, to testify as its first witness.
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.
She disclosed that each of the packs contained a white substance measured at 0.5grams.
The witness said the package also contained a request form for analysis.
“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 O.C. NDLEA Abuja,” she said.
The court admitted all the exhibits in evidence without objection from the defendants.
While cross-examining the witness, Kyari’s lawyer, Dr. 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.
The witness replied that it was not customary that all suspects would be present when substances are also handed over for analysis.
Mrs Afolabi, who said she has over 30 years of experience, explained “I was not present when the drug was recovered. I was not present when NDLEA received it”.
She confirmed that NDLEA operatives are stationed at all entry points in Nigeria, including at 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.
“I don’t know who recovered the substance. I did not come in contact with any of them”, she added.
However, the court adjourned the matter till Tuesday to enable counsel to the other defendants to cross-examine the witness.