Like Superman saving Lois or Iron Man rescuing plane, that was the man Abba Alhaji Kyari, the Nigerian ‘super cop’ and head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
He was the replica of James Bond (a fictional British spy in the novels of Ian Fleming and the motion pictures based on these novels), a real-life Rambo and Commando rolled into one, and the Nigerian version of Captain America. At least, he was seen so until recently when he was indicted in a $1.1m fraud alongside five others by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The Punch Newspapers reported that “The FBI criminal complaint lodged at the United States District Court in California had listed Abbas Ramon, aka Hushpuppi; and Kyari among six suspects indicted in a $1.1m international fraud conspiracy.
“The other suspects include AbdulRahman Juma (Abdul); Vincent Kelly Chibuzo (Kelly); Rukayat Motunrayo Fashola (Morayo); and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka (Bolamide).”
The abrupt indictment of the ‘super cop’ in the dodgy scam deal has dashed every hope of those who had for long dreamed of a black ‘James Bond’.
Before now, he was the people’s superhero. The fearless and daring ‘generalissimo’ of combat policing in Nigeria. The country’s most dogged crime-buster. And the ever-capable and intolerant self-styled detective who has to his imposing credit the busting of billionaire kidnap kingpin, Evans and quashing of the Unknown Gunmen (UGM) in the Southeast, among other numerous heroic exploits.
But what brought this despicable metamorphosis on hitherto staunch ‘super cop’?
His critics are of the opinion that DCP Abba Kyari has always been “crooked cop” arguing that his “association with flashy, questionable characters ” and “publicity-seeking, show-and-tell policing” were enough red flags, but were ignored.
The erstwhile daredevil SARS operative who pounces on criminals like a ”Terminator”, was sometime last year petitioned before the Lagos #EndSARS judicial panel by one Afeez Mojeed for allegedly defrauding him of up to N41 million and unlawfully detaining him for 14 days.
In the petition which was reported by TheCable of October 28, 2020, Mojeed alleged that Mr. Kyari made away with the sum of N280,000 from his wardrobe, another N50,000 from his car, which he also carted away and never returned. Mojeed stated that that the detective compelled him to reveal the password to some of his bank cards, sign checks, and electronically transfer money to designated bank accounts, which added up to tens of millions, after wrongly accusing him of being an internet fraudster.
He further alleged that when his lawyer contacted Mr. Kyari to resolve the matter, the Officer offered to bribe the lawyer with N5 million if he cooperate with him to pull another N15 million from one of his bank accounts, which the lawyer declined.
Mojeed also alleged in the petition that he was charged to court after 14 days in detention, but the court was forced to strike out the case after Mr. Kyari failed to show up or provide any witness.
But unfortunately, none of the anti-graft agencies in the country took up the case neither do the the Nigeria Police Force deemed it fit to investigate the behemothian allegations against one of its most valuable officer.
In the latest allegations against Mr. Kyari, the DCP according to an FBI’s affidavit is “alleged to have arranged for Vincent, Abbas’ rival in crime 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.”
But in a swift rebuttal on Facebook, Abba Kyari denied the allegations claiming his only deal with the said Abbas “Hushpuppi” Ramon was two years ago when he called him to lodge a complaint about a person threatening to kill his family.
He stated that the suspect was later released after investigations revealed that there was no threat to anyone’s life, and “they are longtime friends who have money issues between them.”
He claimed the only monetary transaction between him and Abbas was a N300,000 Mr Abbas paid to his cloth vendor which he introduced to him after he expressed desire to buy some native attires he shared on his Facebook page.
Apart from the incoherent nature of Kyari’s rebuttal, also standing stoutly against his ‘tailor defence’ is his alleged history of frolicking with the infamous scam artist, Mr Abbas.
He is alleged to have abandoned his official duty in September 2019 and flew to United Arab Emirates to enjoy a stupendous lifestyle with the notorious Internet swindler according to the FBI.
The Abba-Abbas relationship is no secret as the duo has in the past (between 2019 and 2020) been spotted together and also shared pictures of their bound.
In fact, Hushpuppi once shared a post on Instagram thanking God for bringing Abba his way.
To make matter worse, the Police Service Commission suspended Mr Kyari from the force over Hushpuppi’s multimillion-dollar fraud indictment, shortly after a recommendation by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, for his “immediate suspension” from the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the statement signed by commission’s Head, Press, and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, Kyari’s suspension took effect on Saturday, July 31, 2021.
Should I say ‘how the mighty has fallen’ or refused to be enticed into a hasty conclusion by the glaring reality?.
Whichever way, a thousand and a million bricks had fallen off the staggering and intimidating profile that DCP Abba Kyari has been building for years and will only take the ‘golden hand’ of the law to rebuild if he is eventually proven innocent of the allegations.
(Sunny Green Itodo, a Public Affairs Analyst/Media Consultant, can be reached on email@example.com.).