•IGP orders investigation •US court orders DCP’s arrest
Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari yesterday denied demanding or receiving a bribe from alleged internet fraudster Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, from a $1.1million loot.
In a post on his Facebook page, Kyari said those celebrating the allegations against him would be disappointed.
Hushpuppi was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June 2020 alongside 11 of his associates on hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud, and identity theft allegations.
He has pleaded guilty in the United States and, according to court documents, narrated how he bribed Kyari following the decorated policeman’s alleged role in arresting and jailing – at Hushpuppi’s request – his fraud rival Kelly Chibuzor Vincent after both were locked in a dispute.
According to the US Department of Justice, a criminal complaint initiated the prosecution of Hushpuppi in February as court documents showed that Abbas, 37, pleaded guilty on April 20.
Officials said in court filings that Abbas disclosed during interrogation that he paid bribes to Kyari, to have one of his rivals arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1million duped from a Qatari businessperson.
Abbas had asked Kyari to arrest and jail Vincent after both were locked in a dispute presumably over how to share the $1.1million loot received from the Qatari businessperson.
Abbas later contacted Kyari to arrest and jail his rival over the dispute. Abbas said Kyari sent pictures of Vincent in jail and subsequently sent his bank account number to Abbas to which a wire transfer should be made having done a good job as sent by Abbas.
In a Facebook post, Kyari dissociated himself from any such corrupt practice.
Kyari said: “Friends: Abbas who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about two years ago that somebody in Nigeria seriously threatened to kill his family here in Nigeria and he sent the person’s phone number and pleaded we take action before the person attacks his family.
“We traced and arrested the suspect and after investigations we discovered there wasn’t an actual threat to anyone’s life, and they are longtime friends who have money issues between them hence we released the suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail.
“Nobody demanded for a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him.”
A US court has issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari’s arrest. Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FIB) to track down Kyari and produce him in the US for his alleged role in the multi-million dollar fraud by Hushpuppi and his co-conspirators.
Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba has ordered a thorough probe. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a statement by spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan, also seeks a probe.