Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, will be tried in Abuja today for his alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
According to Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Kyari was caught on camera handing over $61,400 in cash as part of a cocaine haul, linking himself to a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria drug pipeline. On Monday, Kyari attempted to bring charges against the federal government and seek bail owing to a deterioration in health. Justice Inyang Ekwo denied the plea, adjourning the case until the hearing today.
The charges against Kyari are representative of Nigeria’s commitment to fight impunity and reform the criminal justice system. In 2020, the Nigerian Police Force saw massive criticism during the #EndSARS movement, which targeted brutality and corruption surrounding Nigeria’s police. Consequently, a spotlight has been placed on Nigeria’s police force and how the government responds to institutionalized corruption.
Expect similar investigations to be conducted by the Nigerian government, as one of the key pillars of Buhari’s presidency has been anti-corruption efforts. If the administration is able to reduce systemic corruption, Nigeria will benefit from increased economic transparency, stimulating human capital and foreign direct investments in the oil and gas sectors.
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Keely is an Analyst with regional expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa. A weekly contributor to the Daily Brief, she specializes in conflict dynamics and geopolitics in West and Central Africa.