The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has endorsed the “immediate suspension” of the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, from the Nigeria Police Force.
The IGP said that DCP Kyari’s suspension will be on pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations into his indictment for alleged involvement in a $1.1m internet fraud by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In a letter to the Police Service Commission dated July 31, 2021, the IGP noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the officer was in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.
Also, a Special Investigation Panel comprising four senior police officers, led by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, was set up to investigate the allegations against Kyari.
This was made known in a statement on Sunday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, titled, ‘FBI indictment: IGP recommends suspension of DCP Abba Kyari.’
According to FBI criminal complaint lodged at the United States District Court in California, Abass Ramon, aka Hushpuppi; and Kyari were listed 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).
Kyari, a senior officer celebrated as Nigeria’s ‘super cop,’ had been under fire since the FBI, last Wednesday, unsealed a 69-page court document showing that he had been under investigation by the Bureau for his alleged link to Hushpuppi, who had entered plea bargain for his fraud trial.
The FBI in the case marked 2:21-cr-00203, USA VS Abba Alhaji Kyari dated April 29, 2021, asked a US District Court in California to order the arrest of Kyari for 10 days.
In the statement signed by CP Mba, the IGP said Kyari’s suspension was expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against him without interference.
It reads, “The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.
“The SIP comprising four senior police officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department.
“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter.”
The IGP, however, reiterated the commitment of the Force to the rule of law and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.