Wednesday, July 6, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Police Commission insists on outright dismissal, prosecution of Abba Kyari over multimillion-dollar fraud

“The PSC has powers to fire Abba Kyari and recommend his prosecution, but still decided to give the IG another chance to do the right thing,” our source added.

• February 4, 2022
Abba Kyari
Abba Kyari

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has emphasised immediate dismissal and prosecution of besmirched officer Abba Kyari over his involvement in the international online fraud syndicate led by Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas, Peoples Gazette has learnt. 

Ramon Abbas, better known as 'Hushpuppi'.
Ramon Abbas, better known as ‘Hushpuppi’.

Two sources and internal memos outlined how the police regulatory body placed the interest of the Nigeria Police Force as an institution over Mr Kyari’s career trajectory and medals, saying his fate, if not appropriately and firmly decided, could leave an enduring blight on the country’s law enforcement. 

“Allowing somebody who has embarrassed the country to keep a high-ranking position in the police could further compound our problems as a nation,” a top official told The Gazette under anonymity because he was not authorised to provide details of ongoing deliberation to journalists. “This position has been clearly conveyed to the inspector-general.” 

The position of panellists at PSC led to the return of Inspector-General Alkali Baba Usman’s report last week. The police chief was given two weeks to come up with a better report or the PSC would be forced to act, The Gazette learnt.

IGP Usman Baba Alkali
IGP Usman Baba Alkali

“The IGP recommended demotion of Abba Kyari from DCP [deputy police commissioner] to ACP [assistant police commissioner] and this led to the anger of the PSC,” another source at the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department told The Gazette.

The source said Mr Usman was warned that presenting such a report to the PSC could attract adverse consequences, “but he didn’t listen to us.” 

Mr Usman had said in his report that Mr Kyari, 46, should be given another chance to redeem himself because he had “won many medals”, “positively projected the image of the NPF” and “performed well above his coursemates,” according to an internal police memo seen by The Gazette. 

The PSC panellists acknowledged Mr Kyari’s strides when he was in active service, but said his infractions as to Hushpuppi’s criminal activities were too weighty to be forgiven, two officials familiar with the deliberation informed The Gazette.

“His crimes could have serious implications for the country,” an official said. “The United States could sever collaboration with Nigeria in security areas, especially FBI training of our officers.” 

Mr Usman was also asked specifically about whether or not it was established that Mr Kyari collected money and the overall criminal conspiracy shade of his action. 

“Nothing short of his dismissal and prosecution will be acceptable to the commission,” an official said. “The IG has been asked to go and do the right thing by recommending his dismissal and prosecution or everything will be forced on him.”

“The PSC has powers to fire Abba Kyari and recommend his prosecution, but still decided to give the IG another chance to do the right thing,” our source added. 

Spokesmen for the Force Headquarters and PSC did not return requests seeking comments about Mr Kyari’s fate. Mr Kyari did not answer calls seeking comments, but he had, previously, strongly denied wrongdoing, saying transactions linked to him from Hushpuppi were for tailoring services and not to influence his work as a law enforcement top shot. 

Musiliu Smith

The celebrated officer was suspended from office on August 1, 2021, three days after he was indicted by the FBI for conniving with Hushpuppi to defraud a Qatari businessman. Mr Kyari was accused of collecting cash from Hushpuppi to arrest and detain another member of the syndicate for several weeks in order to aid an ongoing scheme. 

Mr Kyari’s connection to the syndicate was uncovered after Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai and moved to the U.S. to stand trial. The Nigerian fraudster and Instagram sensation pleaded guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud in August 2021 and has been scheduled for sentencing on July 11.

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