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HUSHPUPPI: Malami makes u-turn, exonerates Abba Kyari of money laundering charges in new legal advice

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A new legal advice from the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has exonerated embattled former head of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), DCP Abba Kyari, from complicity in the laundering of $1.1 million he was accused of by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alongside international fraudster, Abass Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

The new twist into the monumental scam involving the suspended Kyari and Hushpuppi as well as other accomplices, emerged on Saturday when Malami’s office issued the new legal advice which all but exonerated Kyari from the money laundering allegations for which he was declared wanted by the FBI, which also led to his suspension pending an internal investigation by the Police Service Commission (PSC).

In the first legal advice, the Attorney-General had admitted that a “prima-facie case of money laundering of 33 payments (proceeds of crime) was established” by the Special Investigation Panel led by the now late DIG Joseph Egbunike, against Kyari.

But a few days after the demise of Egbunike, Malami came up with another legal advice on which he said there were no clear links to the money laundering allegations with Kyari following further investigations.

The new legal advice with reference number, DPPA/LA/814/21, which was written on behalf of the AGF by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, emphasized that the “evidence contained in the case diary had no link between DCP Abba Kyari and Hushpuppi.”

It also noted that the evidence contained in the case diary “was not sufficient to indicate or show that the said monies (N279 million) were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin,” as ‘the police report on the investigation failed to probe the gaps identified in their investigation by the AGF office.

The legal advise entitled ‘Re: Forwarding of the investigation report of the Nigeria Police Force Special Investigation Team and request for legal advice with regards to allegations of criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting Internet fraud, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering against DCP Abba Kyari,” and addressed to IGP Usman Alkali Baba, reads:

READ ALSO: HUSHPUPPI: Nigerian govt agrees to extradite suspended ‘Super Cop’ Abba Kyari to US

“I am directed to inform you that after a careful study of the said response wherein you stated that ‘the monies have been traced to Zenith Bank account no. 2255416115 belonging to Usman Ibrahim Waziri; Guaranty Trust Bank account no. 0130665392 belonging to Adekoya Sikiru; Zenith Bank account no. 2080537566 belonging to Hussein Ala and other funds went to Sharon Festus. The monies were withdrawn and utilised by the aforementioned account holders and the lady.

‘’It is our view that the above response has not linked the suspect, DCP Abba Kyari, to the offence of money laundering as the evidence contained in the case diary is not sufficient to indicate or show that the said monies were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin, more so that the aforementioned recipients or receivers exonerated him in their statements as having nothing to do with the monies.

“Consequently, the AGF office advised the IGP and Police management to explore their internal Force Disciplinary organs against Kyari through the Police Service Commission (PSC) which is constitutionally empowered to carry out disciplinary functions for breaching the code of conduct for law enforcement officers by hobnobbing with suspected fraudsters and people of questionable means in his capacity as a senior officer and head of the IRT.”

The AGF, however, noted that DCP Kyari was “liable to be sanctioned for violating the social media policy of the police by responding to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s indictment on Facebook; breaching the Police Code of Professional Ethics by acting on complaints unilaterally without recourse to established protocol and detaining a suspect, Vincent Chibuzor, for over a month without a valid court order and regards to his fundamental human rights.”

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