On Tuesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja approved the request of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to protect the identity of a witness in a case involving Abba Kyari, the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police.
During the court session, the NDLEA’s counsel, Sunday Joseph, requested that access to the court be restricted for lawyers, litigants, visitors, and journalists who are not parties in the case, specifically during the witness’s testimony.
Presiding Judge Emeka Nwite granted the application and temporarily adjourned the proceedings to allow non-parties in the suit to leave the court.
Speaking to journalists after the court session, the NDLEA lawyer explained that the application was made to ensure the safety of witnesses who are intelligence officers. He stated that the application was in the interest of national security.
The lawyer also expressed concerns that members of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), who are believed to be loyal to Abba Kyari, were still attending the court proceedings.
“And you don’t know who is who. So, it is for the witness’ protection,” he said.
“We are now going into the nitty-gritty of the matter and there have been allegations that we are just witch-hunting them.”
Kyari and four members of his team Sunday Ubia, Bawa James, Simon Agirigba, and John Nuhu are standing trial on an eight-count drug trafficking charge.