The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has marked six residential houses and a shopping plaza belonging to the embattled suspended Intelligence Response Team leader, Abba Kyari, in Maiduguri, Borno State, as being under investigation.
The multi-million two-storey shopping plaza, Assurance Plaza, located along the Giwa Barracks Road in Maiduguri, has about 100 stores while the six residential houses are all located at the Maiduguri New Government Residential Area.
This is coming a few days after NDLEA arrested a suspected billionaire drug baron, Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu, who is allegedly behind the N3billion tramadol deal involving the suspended officer.
Ukatu came under watch in 2021, a year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on 4th May 2021.
He had sent them to sell to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu), from the then Kyari-led IRT, in Lagos.
The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at N17million each as against the then black-market value that ranged between N18million and N20million a carton.
Meanwhile, after the arrest of Ukatu’s staff, Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Kyari’s men were led to Mallinson’s warehouse at Ojota in Lagos where 197 additional cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized by the IRT.
The monetary value of the 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from Mallinson in one day was over N3billion.
Three weeks after the seizure, the Kyari’s IRT team transferred only 12 cartons of the Tramadol with one truck and a suspect to the Lagos Command of the NDLEA, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.
After over eight months of following the lead, anti-narcotic officers of the agency eventually arrested Ukatu at the Lagos airport on 13th April 2022.
Meanwhile, Kyari and four top members of his team are already facing trial for a different but similar offence at a Federal High Court in Abuja.