A new turn in the $1.1 million hushpuppi internet scam involving the suspended commander of the Police Intelligence Response TeamDCP Abba Kyari and fraudster, Ramon Abbas alias Hushpuppi and other accomplices emerged over the weekend with the attorney general’s office issuing new legal advice exonerating Kyari from money laundering allegations.
The office of the FAG which in its first legal opinion admitted that a prima facie case of money laundering of 33 payments (proceeds of crime) was established by the DIG Joseph Egbunike directed Special Investigation Commission against Kyari has now said there is no connection to Kyari following further investigations.
Recall that Kyari and other defendants are currently in court for drug and money laundering allegations in Federal High Court Abuja in the indictment marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022.
The new legal opinion bearing the reference number DPPA/LA/814/21, drawn up on behalf of the FAG by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, mohamed aboubakar pointed out that the evidence in the case diary had no connection between DCP Abba Kyari and Hushpuppi.
He said the evidence in the case diary “was not sufficient to indicate or show that the said funds (N279 million) were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin”, adding that ” the police report on the investigation had not probed the shortcomings”. identified in their investigation by the FAG Office’.
The notice entitled ‘Re: Transmission of the investigation report of the Nigeria The Police Force Special Investigative Team and request for legal advice regarding allegations of criminal conspiracy, complicity in internet fraud, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering against the DCP Abba Kyari’ was addressed to IGP Usman Alkali Baba.
It reads: “I am instructed to inform you that after careful consideration of said response in which you stated that ‘funds have been awarded to Zenith Bank account number. 2255416115 belonging to Ousman Ibrahim Waziri; Guarantee Trust Bank account number. 0130665392 belonging to Adekoya Sikiru; Zenith Bank account number. 2080537566 belonging to Hussein Ala and other funds went to Sharon Festus. The funds were withdrawn and used by the above account holders and the lady.
“We find that the above response did not link the suspect, DCP Abba Kyari, to the money laundering offense as the evidence in the case log is not sufficient to indicate or show that said funds were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin, especially since the aforementioned recipients or receivers exonerated it in their statements as having nothing to do with the money.”
Consequently, the FAG The office advised the IGP and police leadership to explore their internal bodies for force discipline against Kyari through the Police Services Board (PSC) who is constitutionally empowered to perform disciplinary duties for violating the code of conduct for law enforcement officers by associating with suspected fraudsters and persons of questionable means in his capacity as a senior officer and head of the ‘IRT.
In the new notice, the AGF officer added that DCP Kyari was also likely to be disciplined for breaching police social media policy by responding to the Federal Bureau of Investigation impeachment on Facebook; of breaching the police code of ethics by unilaterally following up on complaints without using established protocol and detaining a suspect, Vincent Chibuzorfor more than a month without a valid court order and in view of his fundamental human rights.
It should be recalled that following the rejection of the initial SIP report submitted by the Prefecture of Police to the Police Services Board on the basis of the legal opinion of the FAG office, Force Headquarters was instructed to conduct a new investigation and submit its new findings on February 25 but this was not done.
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