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Police silences on Abba Kyari lifted suspension, reinstatement rumor

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As reports on reinstatement of embattled Deputy Commissioner of the Nigerian Police, Abba Kyari, permeates public domain after his suspension for allegedly aiding Ramon Azeez popularly called Hushpupi to successfully scam a businessman of $10 million set aside for construction of a school in Qatar, the law enforcement agency has refused to clear the air on the published reports that have begun to unsettle Nigerians including the country’s police force.

The decision to maintain sealed lips over Kyari’s case after the United States (US) Government listed him among conspirators in the Hushpuppi’s case has left millions of Nigerians to believe that his reinstatement was the outcome of the different investigations carried out by the Nigerian Police Force, particularly the Police Service Commission (PSC) on the US claims.

Speculations were thriving in the public domain following the inability of the Nigerian Police to provide additional information on the issue and attempts by journalists to get the law enforcement agency’s reactions and change the narrative did not yield any result as inquiries made to appropriate officials were ignored.

Separate media houses who had reached high ranked officers in the police including public relations officer, DC Frank Mba, on Sunday through phone calls and text messages, to know how true the news flying around, shared the same experiences with results that none of the personnel pick their calls nor responded to text messages.

Finding by The Guild discovered that pressure group also made similar efforts after learning of the development, but their moves hit the wall as well, with claims that police and his officers were deliberate in their actions and that they chose not to take calls or reply to messages from Nigerians so as citizens and media do not know what truly is the state of Kyari’s case.

They alleged that police was planning to sweep the matter under carpet through its body language after a four-man special investigation panel headed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police, in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Joseph Egbunike, assigned to ascertain the allegations against the super cop, submitted its reports to the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba.

The group argued that the force’s sinister moves were noticed when the police boss, Baba, claimed not to be aware of any United States government extradition request before the force on Kyari.

Baba’s statement and the reports on the former IRT chairman have resulted in some junior ranked policemen, said to be Kyari’s loyalists, have started jubilating that the officer that was often described as Lion has been reinstated into the force and would soon be deployed to perform a fresh task.

According to sources from the Force headquarters, the new developments have begun to unsettle other law enforcement officers that considered the moves by the IGP, Baba, to reinstate him as unethical and that it negates the code of conduct in the force.

The concerns of the top-ranked officers, the source narrated to The Guild, were that some junior officers, whose offenses were far not weighty to the findings linked to Kyari, have been dismissed and prosecuted in accordance with the 1999 constitution.

They argued that the investigation of these officers followed the same process as that of Kyari, but what differentiated them and that of the DCP was that they were dismissed after reports from the investigative panel set up by the police indicted them of wrongdoing as against the IRT ex-boss who was been pampered.

One of the sources, who confided in The Guild, hinted that the Egbunike-led panel, that was handed over its report to the IGP barely two months ago, did not exonerate Kyari, rather it strongly recommended that the IRT former boss should be punished for his relationship with fraudsters that had tarnished the image of the country globally.

What had become source of concerns for the policemen, particularly the senior officers, were that the same measures applicable to other junior officers that were earlier dismissed for similar allegations should also be applicable to Kyari to avoid setting bad precedence among the rank and file of the force.

Another senior police officer that confided in The Guild disclosed that after the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) was alerted for legal advice on Kyari’s case but the department differed from the Egbunike’s panel recommendation.

The DPP, according to the source, rather informed the Police Service Commission (PSC) that the embattled Deputy Commissioner’s suspension should be lifted since he did not commit any offence against the state.

Investigations were embarked upon following a Federal Bureau of Information (FBI) agent, Andrew Innocenti, allegations made in a document titled, ‘Criminal Complaint By Telephone Or Other Reliable Electronic Means’ filed before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that Hushpuppi, contracted Kyari to detain a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent, for threatening to expose the alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.

The report further argued that said Hushpuppi allegedly paid $20,600 into a bank account provided by Kyari after executing the job for him, an act that was considered to be against the force mode of operations across the country.

Following the allegations, Kyari was suspended from service on July 31 by the Police Service Commission and appeared before the panel several days after.

When the Guild contacted Egbunike for details of his report, the law enforcement officer, who was deployed to Anambra State for the gubernatorial election, did not respond to calls and Short Messages (SMS) sent to him by the Guild correspondent.

The new twist in Abba Kyari’s link to the $10 million Qatari fraud case has attracted the interest of some pioneers of the protest against police brutality codenamed EndSARS, hinted that there were plans to hit the street for a protest on the case that had attracted interest from other countries that believe in Nigeria’s democratic system.

Speaking separately, they noted that the plans by the Police under President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration indicated the anti-graft policy of the government, saying it shows the government was only interested in selective prosecution across the country.

They argued that they were prepared to march on the street to ensure that justice is served on every case across the country irrespective of the individuals involved.

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