HUSHPUPPI/FBI INDICTMENT: Anxiety as PSC suspends Kyari, DIG heads probe panel

Abba Kyari leads police intelligence squad

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended Head Intelligence Response Team (IRT) DCP Abba Kyari following his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The decision, which is already generating some level of anxiety in some quarters, followed Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba Alkali’s recommendation that he should remain suspended pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations on his indictment.

A California court in the United States of America had ordered Kyari arrested following his alleged link with a notorious cyber criminal Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

Hushpuppi alleged bribing Kyari to arrest one Vincent Chibuzo, a co-fraudster,   claiming he gave the tough cop money to arrest and jail “one of his rivals in Nigeria after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam on Qatari business people.”

But Kyari had since debunked the claim, assuring he would be vindicated at the end of his travail.

Announcing his suspension in a statement Sunday, PSC Head Press and Public Relations Ikechukwu Ani said the action took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021.

This, Ani said, would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the FBI.

“Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31st 2021 and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States,” Ani said.

“The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.

“The Commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the Commission for the Commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave,” the statement said.

IGP explains action

Giving reasons for the PSC’s decision, IGP Alkali said it was to allow for thorough investigation.  

A statement in Abuja Sunday by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) CP Frank Mba said:  “The IGP, in a letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the officer is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.

“The IGP further noted that the suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference.

“The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.”

Mba further said: “The Special Investigation Panel (SIP), comprising four senior police officers, is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.

“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 FBI.

“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, the statement also said, 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.

Arewa youth warn

Meanwhile, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has warned that nothing must happen to DCP Kyari while his travails last.

Leader of the group, Yerima Shettima, who gave the warning in a statement in Kano Sunday, also dismissed what he described as “attempted intimidation of a police officer right inside his fatherland, knowing fully that Nigeria is an independent Country.”

He described the “move by FBI as totally unacceptable, a slap on the sensibility of our country as a sovereign nation and a slap on the person of one of our finest officer who prove over the years to be gallant, effective and ruthless as such Nigeria and Nigerians will not dance to American’s tune by handing over DCP Abba Kyari for prosecution.”

The group urged all Nigerians “who are truly patriotic to stand and pray for the man who has made tremendous service to his country, Abba Kyari in the past dealt with ruthless kidnappers, armed robbers and fraudsters and now that he is facing challenges of his life Nigerians should stand by him, especially civil society organisations, because if we continue to destroy our best, Nigeria will in the nearest future be a failed country by sacrificing those tested in their duties.”

Miyetti Allah slams northern elders

In a related development, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has condemned the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) for failing to speak against allegations of corruption and the consequent arrest warrant on Kyari.

MACBAN National President Dr Garus Gololo stated this weekend in Abuja.

He said: “It is a shame that the Northern Elders Forum and other groups in the region would fold their hands and watch while sons of the north who have distinguished themselves in different fields are constantly being persecuted and maligned at the height of their careers.”

Gololo lamented that same treatment being meted to DCP Kyari was done to former Chairmen of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde and Ibrahim Magu and a former member of the House of Representatives and Chairman House Committee on Petroleum Farouk Lawan.

He said while the US and some elements in the southern part of Nigeria were allegedly conniving to persecute “shining stars from the region using the media,” stakeholders in the north remained silent.

Gololo also condemned allegations of human rights abuses against former Chief of Army Staff, Ambassador Tukur Buraitai, saying, “once they see that you’re a shining star, and that you’re from the North, they will want to finish you completely.”