Hushpuppi: IGP Recommends Abba Kyari For ‘Immediate’ Suspension
Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has on Sunday, August 1 recommended Head of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, for “immediate suspension” from Nigeria Police Force.
The recommendation states that DCP Kyari’s suspension will be on pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations into his indictment for alleged involvement in a $1.1m internet fraud by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Frank Mba, the police spokesperson, said this in a statement titled, ‘FBI indictment: IGP recommends suspension of DCP Abba Kyari.’
According to the statement, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, dated July 31, 2021, had noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the officer was in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.
Additionally, a Special Investigation Panel comprising four senior police officers, headed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, was also set up to investigate the allegations against Kyari.
It would be recalled that FBI criminal complaint lodged at United States District Court in California listed Abass Ramon, aka Hushpuppi; and Kyari among six suspects indicted in the international fraud conspiracy.
The other suspects include AbdulRahman Juma (Abdul); Vincent Kelly Chibuzo (Kelly); Rukayat Motunrayo Fashola (Morayo); and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka (Bolamide).
Kyari, who is popularly known as ‘super cop’ for his immense contribution to fighting crime, had been under fire since the FBI, last Wednesday, unsealed a 69-page court document showing that he had been under investigation by the Bureau for his alleged link to Hushpuppi, who had pleaded guilty to fraud.
In the case marked 2:21-cr-00203, USA VS Abba Alhaji Kyari dated April 29, 2021, the FBI asked a US District Court in California to order the arrest of Kyari for 10 days.
Hushpuppi had brought Kyari into the fraud scheme to arrest his gang member-turned-rival, Kelly Chibuzo who was displeased by his cut from the fraud proceeds, according to a months-long investigation by Andrew Innocenti, an FBI special agent.
Kyari’s involvement, according to Innocenti, was “to ensure CHIBUZO’s continued arrest, thereby preventing CHIBUZO from notifying the Victim Businessperson of ABBAS’ and JUMA’s fraudulent scheme and preventing CHIBUZO from hijacking the scheme for his own benefit.”
However, the cop has since denied any involvement in the said case, claiming he only assisted Hushpuppi to get native clothes and caps worth N300,000.
Although he admitted to arresting Vincent, he said it was after Hushpuppi alleged that Vincent was threatening his family here in Nigeria.
Kyari denied knowing about the relationship between Hushpuppi and Vincent at the initial stage and later discovered Vincent and Hushpuppi had a misunderstanding over the said amount of money.
He also said he never demanded any money from Hushpuppi, adding that they (Kyari and his team) were focused on saving people who were being threatened.
However, the IGP in his reaction said Kyari’s suspension was expected to create an enabling environment for NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against him without interference.
The statement partly reads;
The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.
The SIP comprising four senior police officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department.
The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter.
The IGP also reaffirmed the commitment of the Force to the rule of law and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.
Meanwhile, the embattled police officer has been advised to hire a team of vibrant lawyers to fight against his extradition to the United States for criminal prosecution.