The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and Head, Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari.
According to a statement by the commission’s Head of Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani on Sunday, the decision was conveyed in a letter signed by Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired justice of the Supreme Court.
Kyari’s suspension took effect from July 31, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect to his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to furnish it with information on further developments on the matter for necessary further action.
The statement read: “The Police Service Commission has suspended Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police Force from the exercise of the Powers and functions of his office.
“Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31st, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
“The Commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
“The Commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1, was signed by Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and PSC Commissioner 1 and the Commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired IGP, who is currently on leave,” the statement said.
IGP’s four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP) headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) will commence investigation on Abba Kyari.
The DCP’s suspension followed the issuing of an arrest warrant by a U.S magistrate judge, Otis Wright.
According to documents unsealed last week in the US, Mr Kyari had arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.
He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details into which he (Hushpuppi) could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.
Mr Kyari, in a Facebook post on Thursday, however, denied the allegations.
Last Wednesday, the US Department of Justice had announced that Hushpuppi had been involved “in an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.”
Six persons were indicted in the investigation.
In laundering the proceeds of the Qatar operation, a dispute broke out among members of the conspiracy, courts documents said.
The dispute allegedly prompted Vincent – one of the members, to contact the victim and inform them of the scam operation.
After this contact, Hushpuppi allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Kyari.
Kyari was also alleged to have provided third-party bank accounts to receive payment for the illegal arrest.
In his defence on Thursday, Kyari said Vincent had been arrested only because Hushpuppi claimed that he (Vincent) had seriously threatened to attack his family in Nigeria.
He said Vincent was eventually released on bail after no actual threats were discovered.
“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi.
“Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened,” Kyari said.”
He also said Hushpuppi once sent N300,000 to his (Kyari) tailor after the alleged fraudster had admired some of his outfits on social media.
The clothes “were brought to our office and he sent somebody to collect them in our office,” Kyari said.