The Police Service Commission (PSC) has disclosed that the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari risks either dismissal, demotion of rank or suspension from force if found guilty of the allegations that he was involved in a fraud scheme with popular Nigerian Instagram celebrity, now an international fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, famously known as Hushpuppi.
Recall that a report by the Department of Justice, had indicted Kyari as one of the conspirators in a mega fraud scheme.
Kyari, a Nigerian super cop was allegedly fingered to have conspired with Hushpuppi to steal more than $1.1 million from a businessperson who had aimed to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.
The DCP was said to have allegedly collected an undisclosed fund from Hushpuppi to arrest one Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, 40, a who wanted to foil the effort of his team members due to a dispute.
Following the emergence of the allegations, an “internal review of the allegations” against Kyari, by a United States court has been ordered by the IGP.
Also, some agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have reportedly met with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba over the possible extradition of Kyari to the United States.
In a case marked 2:21-cr-00203, USA vs Abba Alhaji Kyari dated April 29, 2021, the had FBI asked a US District Court in California to order Kyari’s arrest.
About four FBI agents reportedly met with the IGP on Thursday and Friday, asking for the release of Kyari in order to be taken to the US for interrogation over his role in the activities of fraud scheme.
Reacting, the Commissioner in charge of Media on the board of the Police Service Commission, Mr Austin Braimoh, disclosed that the commission has also ordered its own investigation on Kyari.
According to him, the commission is not bound by the results of the investigation conducted by the IGP and the police force, saying that it is only the commission that would determine the fate of the embattled DCP.
He further added that the commission would conduct an unbiased investigations, saying that Kyari risks dismissal from the force, demotion of rank, or suspension if found guilty of the fraud allegation.
In his words, “The commission won’t say anything until we get the official report. We are the final decision-maker on his fate as a police officer. Everything concerning his indictment can be investigated and the criminal aspect of it can be sent to the law court but on the official aspect concerning discipline; no other body has power to do anything to him as a police officer, it is only the commission that has such powers.
“So, the commission is awaiting the full report of investigation and his indictment and we will treat it officially; we would apply the law. The law will determine the various punishments that we can award against him. He can be dismissed depending on the gravity of the offence; we can demote him, reduce his rank; we can suspend him.
“Many things are laid out before us pertaining to various offences and after that, the criminal aspect would be referred to the court for prosecution. It depends on how the report is coming; whether it is coming to us directly for us to extricate the criminal aspect and treat it or they want to treat it and refer the official one to us to discipline him.’’
Meanwhile, lawyers and legal experts have continued to weigh in on the allegations against Kyari.
A security expert and lawyer, Dr. Ody Ajike in his argument described the reports that indicted Kyari as a ‘sort of misplaced sophistication by US authorities’.
According to him, Kyari didn’t commit any offence on the US soil, saying that the arrest warrant allegedly issued against the DCP is unwarranted.
The lawyer also called on the Nigerian authorities to resist the enforcement of the arrest warrant order.
In his words, “The recent publicised order by a US court for the arrest and detention of DCP Abba Kyari is a sort of misplaced sophistication by US authorities.
“It’s actually in the shade of the usual US character of exerting messianic responsibilities around the world to suit their purposes and alter their internal contradictions. I agree a court can make such wide orders but we must understand the role of the US in the politics of insecurity in Nigeria.
“DCP Abba Kyari did not commit any offence on US soil or any offence denting the integrity of the US financial system. Why then grant an order for his arrest? I think the Nigerian State should resist the enforcement of such an order and treat it as a ploy to destabilize our internal security mechanism, in which Kyari is playing a very critical role.
“They will first register it here through Mutual Assistance Legal programme, which the US has with Nigeria. Through this they have been taking people from here. He should question that order; the order is questionable. It is an indictment on him based on investigation.
“The court in US doesn’t have worldwide jurisdiction. What they will do is to come and register the order here and enforce it through government channel. It is at this point that Kyari can go to court and question it, and a court here can quash it. That was what the late Senator Kashamu Buruji did and they couldn’t take him. But, he won’t go outside Nigeria even to Dubai or they will arrest him. It is a big problem, but it depends on how he handles it.”
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Ladi Rotimi-Williams in his view said Nigeria has an obligation to release Kyari to the American authorities if a prima facie case, is established against him.
Although Rotimi-Williams noted that Nigeria is not compel to release Kyari for investigation, however, the authorities should agree with the demands of the US in the interests of foreign relations.
In his words, “we are a sovereign nation and we can decide who stays and who leaves Nigeria, subject to peculiar circumstances. In this instance, they wanted a Nigerian citizen to come to the United States. I think it is a moral obligation. America can’t compel Nigeria. Nigeria also doesn’t have to take him over there, but it is in the interest of Nigeria to conduct a judicial process here and if a prima facie case, is established against him, then send him over there.
“Another thing is if we have an agreement to swap suspects. Maybe if Nigeria also has a suspect in America whom it wants back in Nigeria and this becomes a matter of foreign relations.
“Nigeria can also demand his file from America, get our security people to look into the allegations against him, though I won’t advise police probing police. We can get a high-powered tribunal of inquiry, consisting of judges, both serving and retired, as well as accountants, to look into the allegations. But none of them should be members of the police or military. We have competent justices, both serving and retired, to look into his matter. If there is a prima facie case, then Nigeria can release him to the United States.
“Nigeria must first demand evidence from America, once there is a prima facie case, Nigeria should respect herself and send the man, to them. There was a case of the wife of a diplomat who while driving her car in Nigeria, hit someone who eventually died and she fled to America, refusing to return to Nigeria. The Trump administration refused to release her, saying if there was going to be any trial, it should be in America. Though unlike the diplomat’s wife, who I guess America made a special arrangement for her, Kyari has no immunity.
“I will like to believe that Nigeria cannot afford to offend America and it is not in our interest to offend them because of one man. Hard reality demands we cooperate with the US to fight crime in situations like this.”