…As PSC says he risks dismissal, criminal prosecution
Officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have met with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba over the arrest and extradition of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari to the United States.
According to , SaharaReporters, a top source, four FBI agents met with the IGP on Thursday asking that Nigeria’s celebrated cop, Kyari be taken to the United States for interrogation over his role in the activities of suspected serial internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, a.k.a. Hushpuppi.
The source stated that the agents have returned on Friday (today) to ensure their demands are met, citing the urgency of the case.
He said, “FBI agents met with the IGP yesterday (Thursday) to demand Abba Kyari’s arrest and extradition to the United States citing the urgency of the case. Four FBI agents returned to the IG’s office this morning, they are there asking the IGP to release Kyari for interrogation.”
As at Thursday night, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, had ordered an internal review of the receipt of allegations and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation against Kyari.
This was contained in a statement issued by the force’s spokesperson, Frank Mba, on its Facebook page on Thursday night.
However, The Police Service Commission has said it will determine the fate of Abba Kyari,adding that he might face dismissal or demotion, and criminal prosecution if found culpablei.
Mr Austin Braimoh, the Commissioner in charge of Media on the board of the Police Service Commission, said the PSC would not be bound by the IG’s review of the allegations against Kyari, noting that the commission would carry out further probe on whatever findings the police authorities made on Kyari.
He said, “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.
“We don’t always believe the police should investigate the police (personnel) except through the commission. But the important thing is that whatever thing they decide to do, we are not obliged to accept their investigations. So, our investigation department would still go further to get the facts.
‘’What we know they would do is that a query would be issued based on the complaints against him, he would be asked to defend himself and then, he would face what we call the Force Disciplinary Committee which would interrogate him and the report is passed to the DIG in charge and from there to the IG.
‘’The IG would basically forward the final findings and recommendations to the commission. The commission would now carry on with their own investigation; we have to re-investigate what they have done to ensure that they comply with the rule of law and what is expected.
‘’Our lawyer would look into it, he would check the facts and if we feel there is negligence and that some things are not done, we would do a thorough job and eventually, we would have recommendations from the standing committee to the plenary for a final decision and our decision is final on his career.
“The way we look at it is that the court has given an order that he should be arrested, the court has not criminalised him yet; he has not been convicted.
‘’Since, there is little hope, or what you call beyond reasonable doubt, he may be found clean. The issue of stepping aside in Nigeria may be different. The facts of the allegations would be made available to the force, and I’m sure the needful would be done. ‘’
Meanwhile, there is uncertainty over the setting up of the panel that would review the allegations against Kyari.
Although the IG announced on Thursday that the force would review the allegations against Kyari, Saturday PUNCH could not confirm if this had been done on Friday.
The force spokesman, Frank Mba, did not respond to inquiries on the composition of the review panel and the deadline for the submission of its report.
It was earlier reported that the United States’ Court had issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari, over his role in Hushpuppi’s multi-million naira fraud probe.
Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track down Kyari and produce him in the United States for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud.
Abbas 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.
American prosecutors first sought a court warrant to arrest Kyari on February 12, 2021.
Another warrant was requested on April 29, 2021.
Judge Wright’s permission for the FBI to arrest Mr Kyari and hold him in U.S. custody was unsealed on July 26.
Hushpuppi had narrated how he bribed Kyari to have one of his rivals arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1 million 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 $1.1 million 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.