Acting on the recommendation by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba, to suspend the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, over his indictment by United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Police Service Commission (PSC), yesterday, approved the IG request and has suspended Kyari
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba, had Sunday recommended the immediate suspension of Deputy Commisioner of Police and Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Mr. Abba Kyari.
He had also set up a four-man Special Investigative Panel (SIP) headed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Force Criminal Investigations, DIG, Joseph Egbunike, to investigate all the allegations contained in the relevant US court documents served the Nigeria Police by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
This is as some groups have warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against using the case of a former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to cover up the international umbrage against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government over Kyari’s indictment.
However, a statement issued by the spokesman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, said the suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2022.
“The Police Service Commission has suspended Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force from the exercise of the Powers and functions of his office.
“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,” it said.
In addition, the statement stated: “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.”
Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California had ordered the FBI to arrest Kyari and produce him in the United States for his role in a $1.1million fraud, perpetrated by Abbas Ramon otherwise called Hushpuppi.
The US court documents showed that the American prosecutors had first sought a court warrant to arrest Kyari on February 12, 2021, while another warrant was requested on April 29, 2021.
But Wright’s permission for the FBI to arrest Kyari and hold him in a US custody was unsealed on July 26, 2021.
Hushpuppi had narrated to the US court how he allegedly bribed Kyari to arrest and jail one of his rivals in Nigeria over the disputed sharing formula of $1.1million scam of a Qatari businessman.
Following this development, youths in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who have warned the EFCC to stay away from using Saraki’s case to cover up Kyari’s allegation said the anti-graft agency must stay away from chasing shadows.
EFCC, at the weekend, had invited Saraki for questioning on Saturday, raising widespread reports about alleged arrest, with many accusing the anti-graft agency of attempting to use his case to mask the gravity of Kyari’s indictment and make it seem like the government was fighting corruption.
The PDP youth, under the aegis of South-south Youth Vanguard, cautioned EFCC against chasing shadows.
In a statement by its National Chairman, James Akpofure, the group advised the anti-graft agency to go after those reaping and looting the country and stop acting like an attack dog for the All Progressives Congress (APC) federal government.
“The earlier the EFCC knows that it was established to fight corruption in the interest of the public the better. It should stop doing the bidding of the government in power. By working for the interest of the people, the comity of nations will see us as toeing the right path to meet international best practices.”
Another group, Northern Youths Transparency Vanguard, also criticised the invitation and alleged arrest of Saraki as an attempt to divert attention from the grave corruption charges against Kyari, who is wanted in the US on charges related to wire fraud and money laundering.
President, Northern Youths Transparency Vanguard, Mallam Inuwa Sabo, in a statement, accused EFCC of trying to distract public attention from the serious implications of a decorated policeman fraternizing with a known fraudster.
Sabo alleged that EFCC helped to circulate a story that the former senate president had been arrested over renewed corruption allegations, when a topical and humongous case of corruption of international magnitude was hanging over the head of Kyari.
“It is no news to Nigerians that the EFCC has continuously investigated allegations of corruption and raised trumped up charges against the former senate president, which when tested in the courts, have always fallen flat. Still, the EFCC and their paymasters and cyber peddlers keep fanning the flames of hyperbole and ingenious propaganda with Saraki’s name under renewed allegations of corruption.
“If fighting corruption means much to the EFCC, they should address the concerns of Nigerians about the red-hot Abba Kyari relationship with the convicted scammer,” the statement said.