Embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, has lost his position as the Head of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) following IGP Usman Baba's decision to appoint DCP Tunji Disu as his replacement on Monday, August 2, 2021.
Abba Kyari loses IRT Commander position over Hushpuppi scandal
His replacement is tasked with refocusing the elite IRT for better service delivery.
It was revealed last week that Kyari is wanted in the United States of America over his alleged link to Ramon Abbas, aka Ray Hushpuppi, an internet fraudster who has pleaded guilty to scams resulting in millions of dollars in losses.
The celebrated police officer was indicted in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain and launder money in partnership with the suspected fraudster who was arrested in Dubai last year.
The revelations led to Kyari's suspension amid internal investigations to be conducted by the Police Service Commission, and calls for him to be extradited to the U.S.
Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, announced on Monday that Disu is tasked with refocusing the elite IRT for better service delivery.
The IGP assured Nigerians that the IRT will remain focused in the discharge of its duties in line with national statutes and international best practices.
Disu is a former Commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Lagos State, where he earned major plaudits for the professionalism of the squad, especially within a Police Force dreaded for its series of misconducts.
Kyari's scandalous link to Hushpuppi
The link between the two was made public following the unsealing of an indictment involving them and four others who scammed a Qatari businessperson of $1.1 million.
Court documents alleged that Hushpuppi arranged for Kyari to have his co-conspirator, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, arrested following a disagreement over sharing of proceeds of the scam.
Vincent had contacted the victim to divert the loot to himself, prompting Hushpuppi to threaten him with repercussions which later came in the form of police intervention.
According to the affidavit, Kyari carried out the request and sent Hushpuppi photographs of a detained Vincent, as well as account details to receive his monetary reward.
A portion of the extracted cellphone records showed Hushpuppi explicitly told Kyari that Vincent sabotaged a job he was running, and asked that his partner be given 'serious beating of his life'.
"Please sir I want to spend money to send this boy to jail, let him go for a very long time," he texted Kyari after Vincent was arrested on January 20.
"Let me know how I can send money to the team sir. Let them deal with him like armed robber," he said in another text message.
Kyari alerted Hushpuppi a month later that Vincent had fallen ill in custody, suffering from fever and rashes he got from cellmates.
Hushpuppi later told the officer to release the detainee on February 25, but without his electronic devices, a request Kyari accepted.
The records also showed the police officer provided the account information for a bank account at Zenith Bank, an account not registered in his name.
Hushpuppi in May 2020 sent the police officer receipts for two bank transactions totalling $20,600 (over N8 million) sent to a Nigerian bank account, payments speculated to have been a bribe paid to his team.
The FBI said Kyari's knowing involvement in the scheme allowed Hushpuppi and others to continue defrauding the victim undetected.
The 46-year-old has in the past faced serious allegations of misconduct, but faced no serious investigations.
Other co-conspirators indicted are Abdulrahman Juma, Rukayat Motunrayo Fashola, and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka.
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