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IGP suspends Kyari as four-man special investigation panel begins probe

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Husspuppi sent money for cloths, not bribe, police boss, Kyari, reacts to reports of graft

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari, the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) from the Service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations touching on him.

Kyari had been in the news after a US court directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to arrest and detain him over links to an internet fraudster, Abbas Akande, also known as Hushpuppi and his role in an alleged internet fraud of about $1.1 million.

The Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, disclosed Kyari’s suspension in a statement on Sunday, saying that the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, on Saturday 31st July, noted that his recommendation for Kyari’s suspension is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.

It would be recalled that Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi, a Nigerian alleged internet fraudster, who is currently facing trial in the United States for internet crimes had indicted Kyari.

Hushpuppi who was arrested in Dubai and extradited to the United States had allegedly told a US court that he bribed Kyari to arrest and jail an associate of his, Chibuzo Vincent, after the $1.1 million deal went wrong.

However, in a statement on his Facebook page, Kyari admitted that Hushpuppi actually sent N300,000 to him, saying it was not a bribe but money meant for some clothes he (Hushpuppi) wanted to buy from his (Kyari’s) designer.

Read also: FBI officials meet IGP on Kyari

Officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had also reportedly met with the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba to discuss Kyari’s extradition to the United States, after the US District Court for the Central District of California issued a warrant of arrest for him and ordered the FBI to take action to extradite him to the US.

According to Mba, the IGP said the suspension would create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel (SIP) to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against Kyari without interference.

He explained that 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 the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Joseph Egbunike, who is in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID).

“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“The SIP is also to obtain a detailed representation of 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.

“Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed 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”.

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