Hushpuppi: How FBI arrested three of Abba Kyari’s co-accused
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has three persons named along with Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, as co-accused in a $1.1 million transnational cyber-fraud, new court documents obtained have revealed.
According to PREMIUM TIMES, the arrested persons are: Yusuf Adeyinka Anifowoshe (aka AJ or Alvin Johnson), Rukayat Motunraya Fashola (aka Morayo) and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka (aka Bolamide).
The court documents showed that Mr Anifowoshe and Ms Fashola were arrested at their separate homes in New York, on July 22.
Another set of documents also showed that Ms Agbabiaka was arrested in New Jersey, and subsequently granted bail in the sum of $150,000.
WITHIN NIGERIA had reported that the United States Department of Justice had said ongoing investigations showed that Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi allegedly bribed Kyari to arrest one Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, one of his accomplices in Nigeria.
In a court document released by the United States Department of Justice on Wednesday, titled: ‘Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds’, Kyari was said to have been bribed to arrest one Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, 40, in Nigeria, who created bogus documents and arranged for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line to support the defrauding of a business person trying to provide $1.1m for the funding of a school in Qatar.
Revealing how Mr Anifowoshe and Ms Fashola were arrested, FBI special agent, Andrew Innocenti, recalled in an affidavit that the U.S. District Court of Central Carlifornia had issued warrants for their arrest on April 29, 2021.
Innocenti said the addresses of the duo were obtained “based on surveillance” before law enforcement agents visited their homes to execute the arrest warrant.
According to Mr Innocenti, law enforcement agents visited Mr Anifowoshe’s house at 2885 West 15th Street, #6C, Brooklyn, New York on July 22.
“On July 22, 2021, law enforcement agents went to 2885 West 15th Street, #6C, Brooklyn, New York. Upon execution of a search warrant at that address, a male came to the door,” Mr Innocenti said.
Mr Anifowoshe was promptly recognised “based on law enforcement agents’ comparison” to his known photo.
The special agent said further, “Law enforcement agents identified themselves to ANIFOWOSHE and asked for his name. ANIFOWOSHE confirmed that he was ANIFOWOSHE.
“Law enforcement agents obtained ANIFOWOSHE’s passport. The name and photograph of ANIFOWOSHE on the passport matched the ANIFOWOSHE for whose arrest warrant was issued on April 29, 2021 in the Central District of California based on law enforcement databases.
“The appearance of the individual who identified himself as ANIFOWOSHE matches the appearance known to law enforcement for ANIFOWOSHE wanted in the Central District of California.”
He said following the confirmation of his identity, “there is probable cause to believe that the defendant ANIFOWOSHE is the defendant ANIFOWOSHE who is wanted in the Central District of California”.
Innocenti’s account indicates that he partook in the arrest of Ms Fashola at her home at 48 Irving Street, Valley Stream, New York, where she was residing with family members.
“On July 22, 2021, I went to 48 Irving Street, Valley Stream, New York. FASHOLA’s family members answered the door,” the FBI special agent said.
The agents were admitted into the house after family members confirmed that she was in.
They were then led upstairs where Ms Fashola was at the time. This was immediately followed by an identity confirmation procedure similar to the one carried out at Mr Anifowoshe’s residence was carried out.
“I recognised the female upstairs as FASHOLA, based on my comparison of the female to a known photo of FASHOLA.
“Law enforcement agents identified themselves to FASHOLA. FASHOLA identified herself as FASHOLA,” Mr Innocenti said.
The suspect, according to him, also confirmed her identity during a custodial interview.
“In a custodial interview, I asked FASHOLA for name and her date of birth and FASHOLA provided her name and date of birth, which matched the date of birth for the FASHOLA whose arrest warrant was issued on April 29, 2021, in the Central District of California,” he stated.
The special agent added, “Based on law enforcement records, I know this to be FASHOLA’s date of birth.”
He also said her appearance “matches the appearance known to law enforcement for the FASHOLA wanted in the Central District of California”.
“Based on the foregoing, I submit that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant FASHOLA is the defendant FASHOLA who is wanted in the Central District of California,” he added.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that details of how the third defendant, Ms Agbabiaka, was arrested in New Jersey were not contained in the documents sighted.
But court records confirmed that she was granted bail by a magistrate judge, Jessica Allen, of U.S. District Court of New Jersey in Newark on July 22, 2021.
The bail bond was set at $150,000.
Mr Anifowoshe and Ms Fashola were similarly granted bail by Peggy Kuo, a magistrate judge of the Eastern District Court of New York in Brooklyn also on July 2021.
While the bail bond for Mr Anifowoshe was set at $300,000, that of Ms Fashola was set at $150,000.
The government has however applied to the courts for an order for the defendants to “be removed to the Central District of California so that they may be dealt with according to law”.