Eniola Akinkuotu, Adelani Adepegba and Leke Baiyewu
30 July 2021
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The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered a probe of the Commander, IGP Intelligence Response Monitoring Team, DCP Abba Kyari, whom a United States Court issued an arrest warrant against for his alleged links to international fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpupi.
Kyari, who is popularly known as ‘super cop,’ had received rapid promotions and a commendation from the National Assembly for his exploits in crime fighting. His arrest of several notorious criminals, including alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onuamadike, commonly known as Evans, among other notable arrests, shot him to the limelight.
On Wednesday, however, an unsealed 69-page court document obtained by The PUNCH showed that he had been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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, but unsealed on Wednesday, the FBI asked a US District Court in California to order the arrest of Kyari for 10 days.
The US Department of Justice in a statement said Hushpuppi admitted during interrogation that he paid bribes to Abba Kyari, to have one of his rivals arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1m fraud involving a Qatari businessperson.
According to the FBI, Hushpuppi asked Kyari to arrest fellow fraudster, Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, after both were involved in a dispute over the $1.1m loot.
It was stated in the court document that in September 2019, Kyari travelled to Dubai and was picked by Hushpuppi’s driver
A statement by the Department of Justice read, “Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria.
“According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated Deputy Commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.”
Meanwhile, the IG has ordered an internal review of the allegations against the accused of involvement in financial fraud with Hushpuppi.
Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California had ordered the FBI to track down Kyari and produce him in the US for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud perpetrated by Hushpuppi.
Reacting to the development, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the IG ordered an internal review of the allegations against Kyari after receiving the indictment processes from the FBI.
Mba said this in a statement on Thursday, titled, ‘Alleged indictment of DCP Abba Kyari: Inspector-General of Police orders a review of the information.’
It read, “Sequel to the receipt of allegation and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation against one of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, DCP Abba Kyari, the Inspector- General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered an internal review of the allegations.
“The Nigeria Police Force reaffirms its commitment to the pursuit of justice and the strengthening of its professional relationship with the FBI and other international partners. Further developments on this case will be communicated to members of the public, accordingly.”
In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party demanded a forensic investigation of the allegations against Kyari.
The PDP made the demand in a statement issued on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, titled ‘Abba Kyari: PDP Demands Full Investigation.’
The statement partly read in part, “Our party demands that the APC administration should not sweep this matter under the carpet given the manifest rapport between Kyari and some top APC leaders. We urge President Buhari not to ‘ease out’ this case of corruption but should immediately restore the integrity and image of our nation by allowing for a forensic investigation on the suspect.”
However, refuting the claims by Hushpuppi, Kyari on Thursday took to his official Facebook page and said no money was paid to him.
He said, “Abbas who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about two years ago that somebody in Nigeria Seriously threatened to kill his family here in Nigeria and he sent the person’s phone number and pleaded we take action before the person attacks his family.
“We traced and arrested the suspect and after investigations, we discovered there wasn’t an actual threat to anyone’s life and they are long-time friends who have money issues between them hence we released the suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail.
“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened,” Kyari said.
The police boss also claimed that Hushpuppi once admired some of his outfits and sent N300,000 to his tailor to design the same outfit for him.
He stressed that the money was paid directly to his tailor and not him but the clothes were picked up from his office.