On Tuesday, the Federal High Court in Abuja prohibited journalists from covering the drug-related trial of suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
Along with four other people, the former Head of the Nigerian Police Force’s Intelligence Response Team is being prosecuted.
ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirigba, and Inspector John Nuhu are his co-defendants.
They were accused of selling in cocaine worth 17.55 kilograms and tampering illegally with 21.25 kilograms of cocaine that they had taken from two drug dealers.
Justice Emeka Nwite ordered everyone present to leave the courtroom prior to the start of the hearings on Tuesday when the case was restarted. This included reporters, other litigants’ attorneys, and other people who were in attendance.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s chief prosecutor, Sunday Joseph, asked the court to hide the identity of his upcoming group of witnesses who would testify at the trial, and Justice Nwite granted his request.
Even when other attorneys who had cases before the court objected to the judgment, Justice Nwite pleaded for their patience.
They could wait, the judge said, assuring them that their cases would be heard later. We won’t spend the entire day discussing this issue.
The judges approved Joseph’s request, and the attorneys and other participants in the case departed.
In response to questions from reporters about why he filed the application, Joseph stated that it was done so to protect the witnesses, who are wise officials, and that “there is a doctrine of state privilege in the interest of national security.”
Although the prosecution has previously called witnesses, he said that the present group of witnesses needed to be protected since their names could not be made public.
Furthermore, you have no idea who is who; therefore, it is for the witness’ protection. There have been claims that we are only witch-hunting them, and we are now getting down to the nitty-gritty of the situation, he said.