The Nigerian House of Representatives has said embattled police chief and former Commander of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, will remain its honouree until he is found guilty of the allegations against him by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States.
The House had on June 11, 2020, honoured Kyari for his service to the Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria.
The invitation and honour followed a motion moved by the member representing Chibok Federal Constituency in Borno State, Ahmad Jaha, two days earlier.
However, the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, recently issued an arrest warrant against Kyari for his alleged links to the suspected fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, who is standing trial for various offences that include internet fraud and money laundering.
Hushpuppi, who pleaded guilty to various charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, and felony, among others, had said he used the former leader of the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, to jail a fellow Fraudster, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent after both were locked in a dispute presumably over how to share the $1.1 million loot received from a Qatari businessperson.
Vincent subsequently contacted the victim and informed them that they were being scammed by a syndicate involving him and Hushpuppi, US court documents read.
This elicited anger from Hushpuppi, who 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 Hushpuppi to which a wire transfer should be made having done a good job as sent by him.
“Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria.
“According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment,” U.S. Justice department said in a statement.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, however, told Punch Kyari was still innocent until proven guilty.
Kalu said, “The position of our law is that you are innocent until you are proved guilty. It is not the only award that he has. We cannot begin to strip him of his award; he is a suspect at the moment. Lawmakers are not lawbreakers.
“The constitution says you are innocent until proved guilty. But if at the end of the day, he is convicted, then the House would have a reason to review its position. But at the moment, he is still under investigation.”
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