Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, who formerly headed the Intelligence Response Team, on Tuesday appeared before the Special Investigation Panel set up by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, and was grilled for several hours.
SaharaReporters learned that Kyari, who appeared before the panel headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, claimed he was innocent in the $1.1million Internet fraud perpetrated by a serial fraudster, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi, and five others.
“Kyari has not admitted participating in the fraud yet. He admitted that he lived a large life and has a community of friends locally and abroad, but he is still insisting that monies did not pass between him and the fraudster. He was cross-examined till the evening hours. He would still be re-invited,” a top source disclosed.
“His defense seems weak before the panel but they are careful not to be quick in nailing him in the matter because of the boomerang effects,” the source added.
SaharaReporters had also last Friday reported that Kyari had assembled a team of lawyers to fight off his looming arrest and extradition by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States, which appears to be hell-bent on his matter.
SaharaReporters had stated that Kyari was also lobbying the Nigeria Police Force starting with the Inspector-General of Police, and threatening to expose other top police officers who have benefitted from his largesse, should he be handed over to the FBI and extradited.
SaharaReporters had gathered that Kyari, whose links with serial internet fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, were becoming too evident to deny, warned that he would expose the “dirty jobs” he had done for past and present Inspector-Generals of Police as well as some political elites in the country, if they did nothing to stop his extradition.
“There was a stormy meeting on Friday at the Inspector-General of Police’s office between the IGP and police authorities and the FBI agents. Kyari on his part is threatening that many senior officers benefited from his ‘generosity’ and if he’s betrayed, he would expose them.
“He’s now got a team of lawyers. Abba Kyari is still being assured by the police hierarchy that he would not be extradited to the US. He has warned that if he is extradited, the current and past IGPs and members of the political elites he provided support for and assisted for dirty jobs will all be exposed,” a top source had told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters reported that Kyari was given till next week to formally respond to the allegations till his extradition to the US would be decided by the police authorities.
SaharaReporters since Thursday in several reports on Kyari exposed how Hushpuppi claimed to have offered bribes to the top police officer, going by court documents that were ordered unsealed.
The United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, had also issued an arrest warrant against Kyari for his alleged links to Hushpuppi, who is standing trial for various offenses that include internet fraud and money laundering.
The court documents also outlined a dispute among members of the Hushpuppi conspiracy, which allegedly prompted him to arrange to have an individual identified as ‘co-conspirator’ Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, jailed in Nigeria by DCP Kyari.
The Inspector-General of Police has ordered an internal review of the United States’ authorities’ allegations against Kyari.