Police Report: How Kyari’s Brother Got Over N200m From Hushpuppi, Others

A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

Investigations by the police have revealed how members of an international fraud syndicate, led by Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi, wired over N200m to the younger brother of the suspended police officer, Abba Kyari.

According to the report obtained by Channels Television on Monday, N279.120m went to the younger Kyari’s bank account at various times from the cyber scam syndicate members-Efe Martins (lead coordinator), Sikiru Adekoya, Usman Ibrahim, and Hussaini Ala.

The report noted: “That Ibrahim Baba Kyari is a major beneficiary of funds from the Zenith Bank Account of Hussaini Ala, from where he at different times, received various sums stalling Two Hundred and Eighteen Million, One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira {N218, 120, 000.00}. He also received the sum of Forty-Four Million Naira {N44, 000, 000.00} in multiple transactions from DCP Abba Kyari”.


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On Monday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) declared Kyari wanted over links with an international drug syndicate. He was later arrested and investigations over the claims are ongoing.

Before then, the police officer was suspended in connection with Hushpuppi. The Instagram celebrity claimed that Kyari received crime proceeds from him, accusing him of also arresting one of his accomplices when they had a disagreement.

But Kyari refuted the claims and efforts to extradite him to the US have been stalled, raising concern among Nigerians.

One of those who have faulted the handling of the case is a legal practitioner, Ebun-Oluwa (SAN). He told Channels Television on Wednesday that there is a plan to reabsorb Kyari into the police despite the allegations against him.

“I am just sure that one day we will just wake up and see that Mr Kyari would have been reabsorbed into the Nigerian Police Force,” the legal practitioner said on Sunrise Daily.

“With all due respect, I think that was what Mr. IGP was working towards because if you look at the events, it would seem that the super cop was in the good books of those in power.”

Abba Kyari: PSC Postpones Decision, Insists On New Panel To Conduct Fresh Investigation

A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.
A photo combination of a former deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and fraudster Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

The Police Service Commission has deferred its decision in the case involving the suspended former Commander of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari over his alleged connection with the suspected fraudster, Abbas Ramon commonly called Hushpuppi.

The PSC is also insisting that a new panel be set up to conduct a fresh investigation into the matter.

A statement issued by the commission on Friday and signed by its Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani said the commission made its stance known at its 14th Plenary Meeting held on Thursday, February 10th 2022 in Abuja which was chaired by Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police and Chairman of the Commission.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Collaborating With US, Extradition Of Abba Kyari Considered – AGF

The decision of the Commission comes two weeks after it rejected the report of the panel set up by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali to investigate the alleged connection between Abba Kyari and Hushpuppi for lacking depth.

The Standing Committee on Police Discipline and Appeals of the PSC had also directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to carry out a more thorough investigation on the matter and submit its report within two weeks in line with the advice by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) that all loopholes in the matter be tightened.

“The Commission also directed that further necessary investigation should take half the time it took the Police to conduct the original investigation and that the investigation should be carried out by a different panel,” the statement said.

Mr Kyari was suspended for alleged involvement in a $1.1 million internet fraud allegedly perpetrated by Hushpuppi and four others – Abdulrahman Juma, Vincent Chibuzo, Rukayat Fashola, and Bolatito Agbabiaka. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had alleged that Hushpuppi paid $20,600 to two bank accounts allegedly provided by Kyari on January 20, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Commission at its 14th Plenary Meeting also considered 20 pending disciplinary matters and five appeals as well as petitions from the Inspector General of Police and aggrieved serving and ex-Police Officers.

It also considered and promoted 89 staff of the Commission with a promise to ensure that staff promotion would continue to receive priority attention while they should ensure they, at all times put in their best.

Hushpuppi: Nigeria Collaborating With US, Extradition Of Abba Kyari Considered – AGF

 

The Nigerian government on Monday revealed some of the actions it is taking under the radar regarding the allegations against a police officer, Abba Kyari, and suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

Top of these actions, according to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, is the collaboration with the United States government to ensure justice is served.

“The position now is that there are prima facie grounds – reasonable grounds for suspicion that have been considered from the perspective of prosecution, from the perspective of likely extradition, if the need for so doing arises,” said the Minister who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“It is an issue that has both national and international dimensions and in respect of the two, actions are being taken; it is a work in progress locally and internationally and we are doing whatever it takes to ensure justice is done within the context of the law, regardless of the personalities involved.”

Hushpuppi, an Instagram influencer, was arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June 2020, and was extradited to the U.S. where most of the victims of his alleged fraudulent activities are based.

Having spent about one year in custody maintaining his innocence, he later pleaded guilty to multi-million-dollar fraud charges filed against him by the American government.


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In the process, an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicted Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, leading to a warrant of arrest issued against him by a U.S. magistrate judge, Otis Wright.

This led to Kyari’s suspension from the police and from his position as the Head of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) by the Police Service Commission in August last year.

A photo combination of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

Six months after his suspension, the AGF told Channels Television on Monday that the Nigerian government was working with the U.S. on the cases against Kyari and Hushpuppi.

He stressed that issues that have to do with criminality and enforcement of laws associated with crimes and offences could have local and international colorations.

 

Extradition Likely

Malami described Hushpuppi’s case as one involving multiple jurisdictions – Nigeria, the U.S., and the UAE.

“Within the context of the international comity of nations, as it relates to the prosecution of cases, the international community is indeed collaborating and providing the necessary support for the purpose of ensuring that justice is done to the case with the peculiarities of the matter taken into consideration.

“So, what I am saying, in essence, is that internationally and locally, all hands are on deck,” said the minister who commended the existing collaboration between Nigeria and the U.S. in tackling criminality.

“So, Nigeria is, indeed, doing the needful by way of supporting what America is doing for the purpose of ensuring that the cases are tried accordingly within the context of the American aspect of it, and then eventually if there is need for local prosecution, nothing as well stops it.”

According to the AGF, both countries have made progress in terms of joint investigations and the outcomes, although no prosecution is happening yet in Nigeria.

He restated that the government would not rule out the possibility of consideration for the extradition of Kyari, as there have been exchanges of correspondence in that regard as well as investigation and associated matters.

Asked if the suspended police officer was guilty of the offences he was accused of, Malami responded, “You cannot find someone guilty but perhaps, the reasonable ground for suspicion can be established and will translate to prosecution that will eventually translate to it (being found guilty).

“Reasonable ground for suspicion has been established and that will eventually translate to the possibility of prosecution and eventual conviction if, indeed, at the end of the day one is adjudged guilty by a court of law.”

Abba Kyari: Police Commission Rejects Report, Asks IGP To Conduct Fresh Probe

A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

The report of the panel investigating the alleged connection between Abba Kyari, the suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), and social media celebrity, Abbas Ramon, commonly known as Hushpuppi has been rejected for lacking depth.

The Standing Committee on Police Discipline and Appeals of the Police Service Commission (PSC) directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to set up a fresh committee to carry out a more thorough investigation on the matter and submit its report within two weeks. A member of the committee, who pleaded anonymity, told Channels Television via telephone conversation on Thursday that the recommendation is also in line with the advice by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) that all loopholes in the matter be tightened.

READ ALSO: Pastor Arrested For Allegedly Sleeping With Woman, Two Daughters

“When the report on Abba Kyari was taken to the Police Service Commission, the Department of Police Discipline had to study it and make a recommendation to the standing committee,” he said.

“The standing committee is headed by a retired justice of the Supreme Court. The standing committee studied the report from the IGP. The advice that the IGP sought from the attorney general was also tendered.

“The standing committee considered all the reports of various submissions, from both the FBI, the internal investigation carried out by the police. So, the advice from the attorney general is that despite the fact that there is the prima-facie case against Abba Kyari, the evidence provided by the investigation panel is not enough to convict Abba Kyari in any court of law.

“So he advised that the case be further investigated because it is no use that both the PSC and any other body decide to announce punishment on Abba Kyari when there is no clear-cut evidence. There should be no doubt at all when you want to take him to court.”

The committee’s rejection comes months after Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, was suspended for alleged involvement in a $1.1 million internet fraud allegedly perpetrated by Hushpuppi and four others – Abdulrahman Juma, Vincent Chibuzo, Rukayat Fashola, and Bolatito Agbabiaka. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had alleged that Hushpuppi paid $20,600 to two bank accounts allegedly provided by Kyari on January 20, 2020.

Following the allegation, a four-man Special Investigation Panel headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, was set up to probe Kyari. It submitted a report to the IGP in December.

FBI Indictment: No Formal Extradition Request For Abba Kyari, Says IGP

A photo combination of the Inspector General of Nigeria, Usman Alkali Baba and the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

 

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, says he is yet to see or receive a formal extradition request for Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mr Abba Kyari following his indictment by a US Court.

Kyari had earlier in the year been accused of being a conspirator in a 1.1-million-dollar fraud deal involving Instagram celebrity Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

Giving an update on the case, IGP Alkali Baba disclosed on Thursday that he had only heard it on social media, stressing that there was no extradition request as some have reported.

The Inspector General further explained that the panel constituted to investigate the case has submitted its report to the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha for vetting and advice on the findings.

He added that the Force has only just received feedback from the SGF and is contemplating the next step to take.

The police chief’s comment is the latest on the controversial issue in spite of a warrant issued by a US magistrate judge, Otis Wright, ordering the arrest of Kyari.

About a month ago, Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi while affirming that investigations have been concluded and findings submitted, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari will have the final consideration on the matter.


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FBI Indictment: Police Commission Suspends Abba Kyari

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Court Rejects Group’s Petition To Stop Extradition Of Abba Kyari


 

Fashion funds? 

A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.
A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari, and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

Earlier in the year, a US court document suggested that Nigerian socialite Hushpuppi bribed the super cop to arrest and jail a certain Chibuzo Vincent, an estranged ‘co-conspirator,’ in a $1.1 million fraud case.

The document also revealed that Hushpuppi, who had been arrested in Dubai and handed over to US authorities, pleaded guilty to the multi-million-dollar fraud charges filed against him by the US Government.

It further explained that the proceeds from the crime had been spent.

Reacting to the allegations against him, Abba Kyari denied the claims, saying that he collected money to help Hushpuppi sew some clothes. Kyari later stated that he acted as a debt collector for Hushpuppi in a Facebook post which has since been deleted.

The police had assured that a careful and expeditious review of recommendations by its committee would be undertaken by the Force Management Team and thereafter forwarded to appropriate quarters for necessary action(s).

While investigations continued, the embattled police officer was suspended and the IGP appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tunji Disu, to replace Kyari as Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

Police Commission Sets Up Panel, Awaits Report On Abba Kyari

A photo combination of the Inspector General of Nigeria, Usman Alkali Baba and the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

 

 

 

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has inaugurated an in-house panel to study in detail the available documents related to the suspended former Head of the Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari who was indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Police Service Commission via its spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, said that the panel is headed by the Director, Department of Police Discipline in the Commission, Tijani Mohammed, a lawyer.

He explained that the panel was “to gather and document relevant information on DCP Abba Kyari in view of his disciplinary matter and to analyze the information gathered and make appropriate recommendation/s to the commission”.

READ ALSO: Court Rejects Group’s Petition To Stop Extradition Of Abba Kyari

The panel, which has been inaugurated by the Permanent Secretary/ Secretary to the Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Ismaila, has started work while the commission awaits the report of the DIG Joseph Egbunike investigative panel on the matter.

The report of the in-house panel is expected to assist the Commission in making an informed decision when the police investigative panel report is submitted for the Commission’s consideration.

Earlier, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali had set up the police investigative panel headed by Egbunike to look into the matter.

Kyari was indicted by the FBI in a $1.1 million Internet scam allegedly carried out by an Instagram influencer, Abbas Ramon, commonly known as Hushpuppi and four others.

The PSC had earlier suspended Kyari with effect from July 31 based on the IGP’s recommendation and the action is pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Coalition Of Northern Groups Demand Review Of Kyari’s Suspension

Mr Abba Kyari

 

The Coalition of Northern Groups has kicked against the suspension of the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Abba Kyari following his indictment by a US Court.

Spokesman of the Coalition – comprising civil society organisations and non-governmental bodies – Abdulazeez Sulaiman spoke on behalf of the groups at a news conference after its meeting in Kaduna state on Sunday.

He noted that both the Nigerian police authorities and the FBI breached Kyari ‘s fundamental rights by not allowing him to be heard before taking the hasty actions against him.

They have, therefore, demanded an immediate review of the suspension and have also asked that the ongoing investigation with the FBI be transferred to the Nigerian Intelligence Agency.

Mr Kyari was suspended by the Police Service Commission last Sunday following his indictment in the case of alleged fraud linked to popular socialite, Ramon Abbas, a.k.a Hushpuppi.

According to a statement by the commission’s Head of Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, the suspension was conveyed in a letter signed by Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired justice of the Supreme Court.

It took effect from July 31, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation.

The commission also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to furnish it with information on further developments on the matter for necessary further action.

According to documents unsealed over a week ago in the US, Mr Kyari had arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.

He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details into which he (Hushpuppi) could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.

Mr Kyari, in a Facebook post on Thursday, however, denied the allegations.

Alleged dispute

On July 28, the US Department of Justice had announced that Hushpuppi had been involved “in an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.”

Six persons were indicted in the investigation.

In laundering the proceeds of the Qatar operation, a dispute broke out among members of the conspiracy, courts documents said.

The dispute allegedly prompted Vincent – one of the members, to contact the victim and inform them of the scam operation.

After this contact, Hushpuppi allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Kyari.

Kyari was also alleged to have provided third-party bank accounts to receive payment for the illegal arrest.

In his defence, he said Vincent had been arrested only because Hushpuppi claimed that he (Vincent) had seriously threatened to attack his family in Nigeria but he was eventually released on bail after no actual threats were discovered.

“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi.

“Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened,” Kyari said.”

Abba Kyari: Ensure Due Process Is Followed, Says Ozekhome

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) Mike Ozekhome, has asked that due process should be followed in the case of international fraud in which a Deputy Commissioner for Police, Abba Kyari, has been indicted.

He asked that the extradition law of 2005 must be followed and the US must write to Nigeria through its envoy before the process of extradition can begin.

“The US must first make a written case through their envoy in Nigeria saying they want Abba Kyari back in America.

“They must state the offence he allegedly committed in America, if he has been tried or jailed, they must attach a certification of conviction”.

The Senior Advocate said this on Tuesday during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

[READ ALSO] FBI Indictment: Police Commission Suspends Abba Kyari

He said that if Nigeria really wants to save the image of Abba Kyari that the Attorney General is supposed to take over the entire matter and look at the reasons why he is wanted in their country.

His comments follow the issuing of an arrest warrant by a U.S magistrate judge, Otis Wright in the case involving popular socialite, Ramon Igbalode, a.k.a Hushpuppi.

Similarly, the Executive Director, Corruption Observatory, Richard Ovie, has asked that Abba Kyari should not be shielded but that the steps taken are positive and are being followed the way they ought to be.

He is of the opinion that Kyari should not be released to the US without investigations done underground.

“Abba Kyari will not be released to the US just like that, Nigeria is not a ‘Banana Republic'”.

“There is an agreement between both countries, but first, a thorough investigation has to be conducted here before extradition.

“We need to do our own internal investigation here and ensure that what the FBI found out is also what we have found out here and based on that we will begin to consummate the process of extradition”, he added.

According to documents unsealed in the US, Mr. Kyari had arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.

He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details into which he (Hushpuppi) could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.

Mr Kyari, in a Facebook post on Thursday, however, denied the allegations.

The Police Service Commission on August 1 suspended Abba Kyari pending the outcome of the investigation in respect to his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.

He was later replaced by a former commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Lagos State, Tunji Disu.

FBI’s Indictment Of Abba Kyari, A Dent On Nigeria’s Image – SAN

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Muiz Banire has described the indictment of a Deputy Commissioner for Police, Abba Kyari, in the case of international fraud, as a dent on the image of the country.

Mr Muiz who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, made the comments while reacting to the suspension of Mr Kyari by the Police Service Commission on Sunday.

According to a statement by the commission’s Head of Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, the decision was conveyed in a letter signed by Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired justice of the Supreme Court.

Kyari’s suspension took effect from July 31 and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect to his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.

The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to furnish it with information on further developments on the matter for necessary further action.

The DCP’s suspension followed the issuing of an arrest warrant by a U.S magistrate judge, Otis Wright in the case involving popular socialite, Ramon Igbalode, a.k.a Hushpuppi.

According to documents unsealed last week in the US, Mr Kyari had arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.

He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details into which he (Hushpuppi) could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.

Mr Kyari, in a Facebook post on Thursday, however, denied the allegations.

Alleged dispute

Last Wednesday, the US Department of Justice had announced that Hushpuppi had been involved “in an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.”

Six persons were indicted in the investigation.

In laundering the proceeds of the Qatar operation, a dispute broke out among members of the conspiracy, courts documents said.

The dispute allegedly prompted Vincent – one of the members, to contact the victim and inform them of the scam operation.

After this contact, Hushpuppi allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Kyari.

Kyari was also alleged to have provided third-party bank accounts to receive payment for the illegal arrest.

In his defence on Thursday, Kyari said Vincent had been arrested only because Hushpuppi claimed that he (Vincent) had seriously threatened to attack his family in Nigeria.

He said Vincent was eventually released on bail after no actual threats were discovered.

“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi.

“Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened,” Kyari said.”

FBI Indictment: Police Commission Suspends Abba Kyari

 

The Police Service Commission has suspended a Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari.

According to a statement by the commission’s Head of Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani on Sunday, the decision was conveyed in a letter signed by Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired justice of the Supreme Court.

Kyari’s suspension took effect from July 31, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect to his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.

The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to furnish it with information on further developments on the matter for necessary further action.

The DCP’s suspension followed the issuing of an arrest warrant by a U.S magistrate judge, Otis Wright.

 

A photo combination of the Inspector General of Nigeria, Usman Alkali Baba and the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

 

Read Also: Inside the ‘Hushpuppi’ Operation That Indicted DCP Abba Kyari

According to documents unsealed last week in the US, Mr Kyari had arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.

He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details into which he (Hushpuppi) could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.

Mr Kyari, in a Facebook post on Thursday, however, denied the allegations.

Alleged dispute

Last Wednesday, the US Department of Justice had announced that Hushpuppi had been involved “in an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.”

Six persons were indicted in the investigation.

In laundering the proceeds of the Qatar operation, a dispute broke out among members of the conspiracy, courts documents said.

The dispute allegedly prompted Vincent – one of the members, to contact the victim and inform them of the scam operation.

After this contact, Hushpuppi allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Kyari.

 

Hushpuppi
Ramond Igbalode aka Hushpuppi

 

Kyari was also alleged to have provided third-party bank accounts to receive payment for the illegal arrest.

In his defence on Thursday, Kyari said Vincent had been arrested only because Hushpuppi claimed that he (Vincent) had seriously threatened to attack his family in Nigeria.

He said Vincent was eventually released on bail after no actual threats were discovered.

“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi.

“Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened,” Kyari said.”

He also said Hushpuppi once sent N300,000 to his (Kyari) tailor after the alleged fraudster had admired some of his outfits on social media.

The clothes “were brought to our office and he sent somebody to collect them in our office,” Kyari said.

See the indictment document from the United States District Court for the Central District of California below:

 

Inside the ‘Hushpuppi’ Operation That Indicted DCP Abba Kyari

A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.
A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

In October 2019, a businessperson started looking for an investor who could provide a $15 million loan to build an international school in Qatar.

By November, the businessperson was on a plane to Kenya, to meet a potential facilitator – Abdulrahman Juma, a 28-year-old parading as the ‘Chairman’ and ‘Funding Officer’ of Westload Financial Solutions Limited.

Juma was able to convince the businessperson to sign a contract that mandated the payment of a $225,000 consultancy fee before the loan could be disbursed.

Of course, there was no loan. But the businessperson didn’t know that at the time.

After the businessperson wired a first tranche of $164,450, Juma provided a forged document showing a wire transfer of $15 million from a Barclays Bank account in the United Kingdom to the businessperson’s bank account in Qatar, according to documents from the US Department of Justice seen and reviewed by Channels Television.

When the businessperson reached out to the bank to confirm the funds, there was no $15 million. The businessperson contacted Juma, who said the businessperson had to pay another “payment of release order” to release the funds.

In early December, the businessperson wired another $150,000, hoping that would be the final payment for the release of the $15 million. The businessperson was wrong. 

Because the dance had just begun.

Enter Hushpuppi

On December 7, 2019, Juma reached out to Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, an Instagram celebrity who took pictures with expensive cars and watches and wrote motivational captions before his July 2020 arrest in Dubai.

Juma and Hushpuppi, apparently, belonged to a global fraud syndicate that has fleeced numerous individuals and organisations of millions of dollars.

In July, Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to multiple counts of money laundering before a US Federal Court and now faces up to 20 years in jail.

The December 2019 conversation, too, revolved around how they could siphon more money off the businessperson seeking a $15 million loan.

Hushpuppi told Juma that he would pretend to be a Bank Director – with the moniker Malik –  when communicating with the businessperson. The duo agreed on profit sharing and Hushpuppi created a new Whatsapp account, using an American phone number.

A photo of Mr Abdulrahman Juma. Credit: US Department of Justice
A photo of Mr Abdulrahman Juma. Credit: US Department of Justice

 

Texting the businessperson, Hushpuppi introduced himself as Malik, “the director of the bank responsible for crediting you the funds” working with “Mr Rahman (Juma) from Kenya.”

Juma and Hushpuppi shared, with each other, screenshots of their messages with the businessperson, as the conversations progressed.

To begin to tempt the businessperson to part with more money, Hushpuppi said there was a need to open a bank account in the United States, to transfer the $15 million loan because Qatar had apparently been sanctioned by the US government.

The initial agreement was that the funds will then be credited from the US account to the businessperson’s bank account in London.

Apparently, Hushpuppi had a ‘white guy’ from America call the businessperson to boost the legitimacy of the scheme. The businessperson “is so happy”, Hushpuppi reported to Juma.

Using the resources at his disposal, Hushpuppi created a fictitious business name statement (carrying the name of the businessperson’s company) in the US. He then used the business name to open a bank account, in the name of the businessperson’s company.

He was also able to generate a ‘Durable Power of Attorney’ form. Fraudulent, of course.

On December 20, Hushpuppi sent the account and online login of the Canoga Park Wells Fargo account to the businessperson, who must have felt, once again, that the loan was palpable.

But when the businessperson sent Hushpuppi the information for a UK bank account where the loan funds should be deposited, the latter balked.

A photo of Vincent Chubuzo sent by DCP Kyari to Hushpuppi. Credit: US Department of Justice.
A photo of Vincent Chubuzo sent by DCP Kyari to Hushpuppi. Credit: US Department of Justice.

 

Hushpuppi told the businessperson that it would not work to send funds to a “personal account” in the UK. Instead, the businessperson should open an investor’s account with his own private banking service.

To open the account, Hushpuppi said, the businessperson would have to fund it with a minimum of 250,000 pounds.

At this point, the businessperson started to smell a rat. But the allure of imminent victory was too strong.

On December 23, after some back and forth between Juma and Hushpuppi, (the former apparently wasn’t convinced that it was the right time to ask for more money)  the businessperson agreed to open the investor’s account.

Game, set . . . match?

American money launderers

 To receive and launder the proceeds of the Qatar operation, Hushpuppi relied on two other individuals living in the United States – Rukayat Fashola and Bolatito Agbabiaka.

He also used part of the loot to purchase a luxury Richard Mille watch and St. Kitts citizenship.

On December 24, Hushpuppi sent the businessperson two bank account details, one belonging to Agbabiaka, and the other to the Richard Mille watchseller.

That same day, the businessperson transferred $330,000 to the accounts and sent Hushpuppi photographs of the wire transfer confirmations.

A photo combination of Bolatito Agbabiaka and Rukayat Fashola. Credit: US Department of Justice
A photo combination of Bolatito Agbabiaka and Rukayat Fashola. Credit: US Department of Justice

 

Now, the businessperson must have been agitated. “Can you please let me know when I can receive the fund as agreed and promised?” The businessperson said in a text to Juma after forwarding the $330,000.

Juma forwarded the businessperson’s messages to Hushpuppi with a note: “I need your advice before I get back.”

Hushpuppi must have smiled. He had another trick up his sleeve.

The money call

On January 4, 2020, Vincent Chibuzo, another of Hushpuppi’s associates, sent the Instagram celebrity a message containing a “telephone banking” number. 

This will “blow the client’s mind,” Chibuzo said in his message to Hushpuppi.

The next plan had been to create a fake Wells Fargo bank website and a fake banking automated telephone number that could deceive the businessperson that, indeed, the promised funds had been deposited into the Canoga Park Wells Fargo account Hushpuppi had opened for the Qatar business.

When the “telephone banking” information was eventually sent to the businessperson, it was so convincing that the businessperson wrote back to Hushpuppi: “OMG, I can’t believe it, it’s true.”

After calling the businessperson, Juma sent Hushpuppi a voice note.

The businessperson “can’t breathe,” he said.

The businessperson “is really excited.”

The businessperson “is crying tears of joy.”

The businessperson “is thanking me.”

In response, Hushpuppi said, “Are you proud of me or not? It’s a perfect job, bro.”

The tax plan

After raising the businessperson’s hopes, Hushpuppi reached out and claimed there was a need to pay a tax of $575,000 to have the loan cleared.

“Sorry but this is too much,” the businessperson replied.

The next day, the businessperson contacted Juma, asking him to find a way to avoid paying the $575,000 tax. Juma sent screenshots of this conversation to Hushpuppi.

On January 10, Hushpuppi and Juma discussed reducing the amount the businessperson should be asked to pay. Later, they communed on how to stop the businessperson from flying to the UK to confirm that there were funds in the purported Wells Fargo account.

Juma said he had told the businessperson to keep things quiet, and to not tell anyone or ask anyone about the status of the loan.

On January 13, the businessperson agreed to pay $440,000 in taxes.

The Kyari connection

The saying that ‘there is no honour among thieves’ began to manifest among the Hushpuppi syndicate.

First, Juma was able to secure $299,983.58 from the businessperson, perhaps as part of the tax payments. But he refused to share it with Hushpuppi because he (Juma) had not received a share from the earlier $330,000 sent by the businessperson.

Then Chibuzo, who was based in Nigeria at the time, accused Hushpuppi of not paying for the work that was being done on the fake Wells Fargo website.

As a way to get back at Hushpuppi, Chibuzo contacted the businessperson directly and, claiming he was “trying to help”, said Hushpuppi was a scammer.

When Hushpuppi got wind of Chibuzo’s actions, he was livid. “I will deal with him,” he told Juma.

Hushpuppi reached out to Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Force, and sent him Chibuzo’s phone number.

Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, flaunted a luxury Richard Mille watch on Instagram on January 13, 2020. Credit: US Department of Justice
Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, flaunted a luxury Richard Mille watch on Instagram on January 13, 2020. Credit: US Department of Justice

 

In one text to Chibuzo, Hushpuppi said in pidgin: “I swear with my life that you will regret messing with me, you will even wish you died before my hands will touch you.”

Now, Hushpuppi’s relationship with DCP Kyari is contested.

The police officer has said he received no payment to arrest Chibuzo and that he was only responding to a violent threat complaint raised by Hushpuppi.

But there is overwhelming evidence – including screenshots of receipts sent by Hushpuppi to Kyari –  that the arrest of Chibuzo was influenced by DCP Kyari’s chummy relationship with Hushpuppi and not credible intelligence. (The Nigeria police has said it is investigating the matter)

“Please sir, I want to spend money to send this boy to jail; let him go for a very long time,” Hushpuppi said in one text to Kyari.

“Ok bro, I understand,” Kyari texted back. “I will discuss with my team who arrested him . . . we will do something about it.”

Hushpuppi said he was ready to send money to the team, so they can deal with Chibuzo like an “armed robber.” Kyari said he would send the team’s account details. 

When Hushpuppi said “I want him to suffer for many years,” Kyari responded, “hahahaha . . . hahahaha.”

Chibuzo was released about a month later after contracting a skin disease in jail.

A litany of doubts

Chibuzo’s whistleblowing had apparently not deterred the businessperson. Too much money had been sunk into acquiring the $15 million loan, the businessperson must have reasoned. Too late to now throw in the towel.

But after paying Juma $299,983.58, the businessperson was beginning to doubt the Kenyan financier and turned to ‘Malik’, the Wells Fargo banker.

The businessperson told Malik – Hushpuppi – that they believed Juma had been scamming them, after spending over $1 million to acquire the loan.

“I know that you think I am stupid but I trust (Juma) and now I’m going bankrupt,” the businessperson said.

Ever the conman, Hushpuppi said, “Wow, over one million?”

Then he promised to help the businessperson.

Later, he claimed to have spoken to his supervisor who was willing to reduce the tax amount that the businessperson would pay to $180,000. But he asked the businessperson to keep their discussions confidential, especially from Juma.

“Try and get the $180,000 sent before the end of the month and (Juma) will be put to shame and God will deal with him also,” Hushpuppi told the businessperson.

At the same time, Hushpuppi was deflecting enquiries from Juma about what the next move to get more money from the businessperson was.

On March 2, 2020, the businessperson wired the $180,000 to Hushpuppi, a bulk of it to an account provided by Agbabiaka, the alleged American co-launderer.

On March 11, the businessperson contacted Hushpuppi to ask about when she would receive the $15 million loan to build the international school. Hushpuppi claimed to have gone to the IRS to pay the tax and that his boss would be able to send the wire the next day.

The next day, Hushpuppi told the businessperson that his boss, Yousif, would contact the businessperson.

The bogus Yousif identity contacted the businessperson via Whatsapp and demanded payment for additional “transfer charges.”

But the businessperson, exhausted and defeated, reached out to Hushpuppi instead.

“Sorry Mr Malik but I’m not gonna pay more and I’m out of this game,” the businessperson said. “I’ll stop all my communication with you . . . You are doing what exactly Juma did . . . I’m now 100% sure that you and Juma and Yousif are all one team.”

Abba Kyari And The Hushpuppi Scandal: Follow Due Process, Moghalu Tells Buhari

 

 

Former presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to respect international law on the issue involving Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari regarding his link to the international fraudster, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi.

Earlier, Otis Wright of the U.S District Court for the Central District of California had told the FBI to track down Kyari and produce him before the court over his alleged role in a multi-million dollar fraud orchestrated by Hushpuppi and other members of his ring.

The FBI had stated that Hushpuppi and Kyari have been friends and were both involved in a conspiracy to launder money. Mr. Kyari had also arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.

He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details into which Hushpuppi could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.

READ ALSO: US Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Abba Kyari

The highly celebrated police officer in a Facebook post on Thursday denied the allegations, however, there are Nigerians who believe he should be extradited to the US to clear his name of the allegations against him.

Professor Moghalu is one of such who believes the law must be made to take its due course. In a statement titled “This Is Not A Movie: DCP Kyari And The Long Arm of Justice,” the former Deputy Governor of the CBN noted that the same way Federal Government under Buhari has arrested Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and are also seeking to extradite Yoruba Nation Agitator, Sunday Igboho, from the Benin Republic, they should also follow due process in the case against Kyari.

Moghalu insisted that the FBI’s request for the extradition of Kyari in the Hushpuppi case will put Buhari and Nigeria in the global spotlight, adding that Nigeria and the United States have an extradition treaty which has been used in a number of cases.

According to him, “What leadership calls for is obvious, President Buhari should respect laws and follow due process”.

While stressing that Nigeria and indeed the world is watching, Professor Moghalu urged the federal government to ensure that it does not disrespect international law in black and white when it comes to certain Nigerians.