The Nigerian police boss has recommended that Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police indicted by American authorities for allegedly being in bed with a notorious fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, should be suspended.
Inspector-general of Usman Alkali Baba made the recommendation to the Police Service Commission in a July 31 letter.
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc has recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari, the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), from the Service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the outcome of ongoing internal investigations touching on him,” Nigerian police spokesman Frank Mba said in a statement on Sunday morning.
Mba said the suspension is expected to create an enabling environment for a police panel to carry out internal investigations. He, however, said the suspension does not imply that Kyari has been found guilty.
The four-man panel is set up to investigate all the allegations against the police officer, who is also the head of the influential intelligence Response Team, a unit that has been instrumental in the arrests of high-profile criminals.
Kyari was implicated by Hushpuppi, who himself has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.
The celebrated Nigerian cop, according to the DoJ statement, allegedly arranged for the arrest and jailing of an associate of Hushpuppi when the two fell out after scamming a Qatari of $1.1 million. The top cop also allegedly sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest as proof to Hushpuppi.
“Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment,” the Department of Justice said in the statement.
Despite the damning evidence presented by the FBI, Kyari denied being complicit in any new crime. He insisted Vincent was arrested and released based on an allegation of threat to life. He also said he never collected a dime from Hushpuppi.
The police panel, headed by Joseph Egbunike, the deputy inspector-general of police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, is expected to review “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,” Mba said.