IGP directs investigation of FBI allegation against Abba Kyari

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…PDP demands investigation into alleged link, as Kyari denies any fraudulent involvement

By Our correspondent

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba has ordered the review of the allegations leveled against Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Kyari, who is the head of IGP Intelligence Response Team was ordered to be arrested by Judge Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

The court ordered the FBI to track down Kyari and produce him in the United States for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud involving Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

Hushpuppi, was arrested in Dubai last June and he pleaded guilty to fraud in the U.S. this week.

The FBI said Abbas and Kyari have been friends and were both involved in a conspiracy to launder money.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Frank Mba in a statement said the Nigeria Police is committed to the pursuit of justice, while also affirming its readiness to strengthen its professional relationship with the FBI and other international partners.

The statement reads, “Sequel to the receipt of allegation and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against one of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, DCP Abba Kyari, the Inspector General of Police IGP Usman Alkali 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.”

The FBI said Abbas and Kyari have been friends and were both involved in a conspiracy to launder money.

American prosecutors first sought a court warrant to arrest Kyari on February 12, 2021, according to court documents.

Another warrant was requested on April 29, 2021.

Judge Wright’s permission for the FBI to arrest Kyari and hold him in U.S. custody was unsealed on July 26.

According to report, Hushpuppi narrated how he bribed Kyari to have one of his rivals arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1million dupe of a Qatari businessperson.

Abbas had asked Kyari to arrest and jail a fellow fraudster Kelly Chibuzor Vincent after both were locked in a dispute presumably over how to share the $1.1million loot received from the Qatari businessperson.

Abbas had pleaded guilty to a multi-million fraud earlier this month and faces up to 20 years in jail.

He will be sentenced in the coming weeks and will forfeit some of his assets and his rights to appeal while also paying restitution to victims of his years-long fraud.

Kyari in a statement on Facebook has, however, dismissed the allegations of bribe.

Reacting in a Facebook post on Thursday, Kyari said he only assisted Hushpuppi to get native clothes and caps worth N300,000.

The police boss, however, admitted arresting Vincent but claimed he was released on bail to go and was not taken to any jail.

He wrote: “Friends; 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 (sic) 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 (sic) money issues between them. Hence, we released the suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail.

“Nobody demanded for a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened.

“Later, he saw some of my native clothes and caps on my social media page and he said he likes them and he was connected to the person selling the clothes and he sent about N300,000 directly to the person’s account. The native clothes and caps (5 sets) were brought to our office and he sent somebody to collect them in our office.

“Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him. We responded to a distress call he made on threat to his family and released the suspect when we discovered there was no life threat from the suspect. This is the true story. Vincent is alive; he can be contacted.

“For those who are celebrating that this is an indictment on us and mentioning some fictitious big money, they will be disappointed once again as our hands are clean and our record of service for two decades is open for everybody to see. They will continue seeing us serving our father land and we will continue responding to all distress calls from all Nigerians provided they are life threatening.”

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for a forensic investigation into alleged reports that the U.S. FBI linked head of IGP Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, with international fraudster, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

The party make the demand in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Thursday.

Ologbondiyan said that the alleged involvement of Kyari, the head of Nigeria’s Intelligence Response Unit, as a receiver of proceeds of international fraud was worrisome and disturbing.

This, according to Ologbondiyan affects the nation’s integrity, if the head of its police intelligence unit is being charged in connection with international fraud.

“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 Muhammadu 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.

“Moreover, if this Kyari matter is not well handled, it will be a permanent stain on the reputation of our police, security system and our nation at large.

“The PDP therefore asks President Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police to take in Abba Kyari for questioning and if found culpable, he should be handed over to the FBI.”