By Rose Onda
A Police Officer, who wishes to be simply identified as Superintendent of Police Kolade, has revealed fresh facts about the connection between the former Commander of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, and notorious internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi.
According to the Superintendent of Police, what befell Abba Kyari was a sting operation that went horribly wrong.
He revealed that the NPF Special Investigation Panel set up to look into the allegations by the United States of America Federal Bureau of Investigation against Kyari, did not indict him.
It will be recalled that in July, news broke in Nigeria that the United States District Court for the Central District of California had indicted Kyari in the ongoing prosecution of Hushpuppi.
A US Magistrate Judge, Otis Wright, issued an arrest warrant on Kyari.
Also, unsealed documents in the US stated that Kyari allegedly arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent on the instruction of Hushpuppi.
He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi’s bank account details into which he could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.
The Superintendent of Police alleged that aside from the FBI’s case against Kyari, many other unknown personalities were fighting the Nigerian Police Poster Boy from all corners.
He said: “You probably do not know, but Kyari in the course of his job arrested thousands of criminals all over the country.
“Many of these criminals have relatives, friends, colleagues and gang members.
“Many of them are rich and well connected.
“They are not happy about the fact that their friends, relatives or partners were arrested.
“Also, don’t forget Kyari and his team’s latest battle in the South East, how they fought against unknown gunmen that had been killing and creating panic.
“Do you know the number of policemen and soldiers killed in those states?
“Police stations were burnt and the Inspector General of Police and his Management Team in their wisdom decided to deploy Kyari and his men to those boiling zones.
“I can tell you that the South East issue was part of the problem against him.
“These unknown gunmen have supporters from all walks of life, in Nigeria and overseas.”
The Officer explained it was natural for Kyari and his men to have known and unknown enemies because the team mostly handled and investigated high profile cases.
“What I know and can state categorically is that whenever anyone calls him concerning a case, he responds, especially if he tells him that a life is being threatened,” said Kolade.
The Police Officer, who said that the panel had investigated and seen the truth, added: “Kyari responds to all calls, irrespective of whether the caller is rich or poor.
“I also know that people call to give him information about armed robbers, robberies, kidnapping and kidnappers.
“When such calls come, he doesn’t waste time swinging into action.
“When that Hushpuppi guy called him from Dubai, what he told Kyari was that someone was threatening his family, that Kyari should act before the person killed his mother.
“Naturally, Kyari acted swiftly and got the supposed suspect, Vincent, arrested.”
Kolade explained that during interrogation, Vincent told Kyari and his team that he never threatened Hushpuppi’s family, adding that they had disagreement over money sharing formula.
He continued: “Vincent and this Hushpuppi guy, who was in Dubai, did a business together.
“Hushpuppi got the money for the deal, but refused to give Vincent his share.
“It was because Hushpuppi refused to share the money that Vincent decided to spoil the job for him, but this Hushpuppi guy was able to find a way to continue the job.
“Hushpuppi wanted to punish Vincent.
“While under interrogation, Vincent confessed to other frauds.
“I heard he confessed to have been into fraud in the past 10 years and that there were others doing the work with them.
“He mentioned that they had connections and members in Malaysia, South Africa and other countries.
“He also said that the business that caused problems between him and Hushpuppi was their second deal together.”
The Superintendent of Police stated that it was after Kyari and his men heard these confessions and began to get the clearer picture of the drama they changed and focused on investigating the Vincent, Hushpuppi and their syndicate.
Kolade said: “The policemen decided to detain and investigate Vincent further to get more information about his dealings with Hushpuppi and others.
“A court order was obtained for his remand for two weeks.
“After that, a search warrant was obtained and a search was carried out in his house and many documents of different countries were found.”
The Police Officer explained that after the two weeks remand elapsed, the policemen got another remand for additional two weeks.
“Before the additional two weeks elapsed, Vincent fell sick and was granted bail.
“That guy Hushpuppi was said to have kept calling the policemen, asking them to send the suspect to jail and to fabricate charges against him.
“The policemen refused.
“In fact, one of them told me that they had a meeting with their boss Kyari and he told them that the confessions of the suspect meant the case should be further investigated thoroughly.
“I also heard that the plan was to charge Vincent and Hushpuppi, but Hushpuppi was in Dubai.
“There was no way the police team could just call Hushpuppi to say that they had found out he was a fraudster.
“Intelligent policemen do not work that way.
“I may not be a Commissioner of Police, but I know that as a policeman, when you discover someone is into crime and doesn’t stay in the country, you have to play along with him to lure him into believing you’re on his side so that you can also get him.
“The truth is that if you mentioned to him that you’ve discovered that he’s a criminal and that you were going to arrest him, you’ll never hear from him or her again.
“That door of ferreting further information will be shut.
“However, if you play along, you’ll get more vital information and even narrow down to other people involved in the crime.
“Indeed, that was what these policemen were doing until everything went wrong and the media was all over the place.
“When a conversation is going on between an investigator and a suspect, there’s a need to ask questions to know what is going on, rather than jump to conclusions.”
When Kolade was asked what he knows about the N8 million alleged to have been given to Kyari and his men by Hushpuppi, he replied: “What I heard and understand is that the N8 million doesn’t belong to Hushpuppi.
“It belonged to another guy in Dubai.
“The owner of the money had a transaction with someone here in Nigeria.
“That person refused to return his money.
“He contacted Hushpuppi to assist him with Kyari’s phone number so that he could tell him about the matter.
“The guy in Dubai showed evidence of payment of the whole transaction and that the Nigeria-based guy refused to refund his money.
“The guy in Dubai contacted Kyari about his N8 Million on June 1.
“The transaction slip showed 4th of April, while the slip got to Kyari and his men on 4th of June.”
Kolade said the most baffling aspect of the whole saga was the FBI embarking on a media trial rather than asking Kyari directly about the allegations against him.
He added: “These FBI operatives know Kyari very well.
“They have a relationship with him.
“They have an office in Abuja and he has worked with them several times and for many years.
“He has assisted them in many operations, entered dangerous areas and even helped them in the rescue of some kidnapped Americans.
“You may not be aware of this, but this same FBI gave him a letter of commendation.
“Maybe, if they had asked him questions, I wouldn’t be here today talking to you.
“May be Kyari would have told them that the N8 million had to do with cars.
“Do you know that Kyari contacted the man that was alleged to have collected N8 million and refused to honour the business transaction?
“The man, who said that he is a businessman dealing in cars, actually admitted to have collected money from the complainant based in Dubai.
“The man explained that he bought two cars and that his plan was to sell the cars and refund N8 million to the Dubai-based man.
“The man said that it was impatience that made the Dubai-based man report him to the police.
“This same car dealer is alive today and even testified before the Panel that Kyari knew nothing about the N8 million until the Dubai-based man lodged a complaint.
“The police panel even investigated the car dealer’s bank account and saw how the N8 million transaction went.”
When Kolade was asked how Kyari got to meet Hushpuppi, he replied that the police officer met the fraudster when he travelled to Dubai.
He said: “Apparently one Yomi, who knows Kyari, introduced them.
“They exchanged contacts.
“Two months later, he called Kyari, claiming someone was threatening the life of his family.
“Some of my colleagues told me that Hushpuppi told Kyari that he was into real estate and advertising.
“Advertising designer clothes and bags.
“It was after Vincent was arrested that Kyari got to know that Hushpuppi was actually into fraud.”
According to the Superintendent of Police, Hushpuppi wanted to use the police to punish Vincent so he asked them to beat, charge him to court, jail him and then to ensure that he rots in jail forever.
Kolade said from his interaction with Kyari’s men, they didn’t carry out “such nonsense demands”, but pretended they did.
He said: “These policemen played along with that Hushpuppi because they wanted him to be free to divulge more information, especially when he would be visiting Nigeria.
“Before they could complete the sting operation, the media was on it, but with a wrong narrative.
“They made these policemen to be bad people, forgetting that these men have arrested high profile and influential criminals, who had offered millions, but they had rejected it.
“You may not know it, Kyari had been given a bribe not to carry out an arrest or to give lesser charges, but he refused, he didn’t compromise.
“Kyari has worked for the Nigerian Police for over 20 years and put his life in danger.
“There’s no evidence that he compromised with Hushpuppi.
“All interactions between him and Hushpuppi were part of an ongoing operation.
“If there was an exchange of money between Kyari and that Hushpuppi, the panel would have seen it.
“The FBI that I know does not do shoddy investigation like what occurred in this Kyari and Hushpuppi saga investigation.
“There was no fair hearing, no invitation to Kyari.
“They could have invited any of the policemen involved in the sting operation, but they didn’t.
“It’s wrong to make conclusions on someone without first hearing from that person.
“I just want people to understand the true picture of what really transpired.
“Too many lies on social media about Kyari and his men.
“Presently, a woman has accused him of arresting her and taking her to his home instead of the police station.
“It was also on social media.
“Kyari was a policeman recognised by the national assembly for his gallantry and commended.
“There are many senior policemen who are always happy with the achievements of Kyari and his men, which is how it should be.
“They know he’s improving and lifting the image of the police.
“Everyone now knows that our policemen, including myself, can crack cases, imagine what we can do if we have equipment and apparatus like our counterparts in other crimes.”
Kolade admitted that Hushpuppi did commend Kyari’s clothing, asking for the contact of the tailor that used to make them for him.
He said: “Kyari did everything to make Hushpuppi trust him and it’s all part of the sting investigation process.
“Yes, Hushpuppi mentioned that he would send money to Kyari boys and Kyari couldn’t have refused at that point to avoid creating suspicion in the mind of Hushpuppi.
“Kyari men told me that till date Hushpuppi didn’t send any money to anyone.
“The panel and Police Service Commission have done a thorough investigation.
“The only point that Kyari and his men were found wanting was in not following due process in registering complaints and taking the same to IGP to approve.”