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Hushpuppi: What FBI probe of Abba Kyari means for Buhari govt – Ex-US Ambassador, Campbell

Former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell has revealed what the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s, FBI, probe of suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and the ongoing probe by the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, means for President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Campbell said the FBI fraud allegation against Kyari and his suspension by the Nigeria Police Force showed some hope of police reforms.

WITHIN NIGERIA had reported that the United States Department of Justice had said ongoing investigations showed that Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, commonly known as Hushpuppi allegedly bribed Kyari to arrest one Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, one of his accomplices in Nigeria.

According to 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.

Allegation which Kyari has denied, stating that he did not demand any money from Hushpuppi, only introduced the accused to a cloth seller whom Hushpuppi paid about N300,000.

Reacting to the development, Campbell, in an article published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), insisted that the probe of Kyari also showed a hopeful sign of police reforms which Nigerians had called for and which were one of the main demands of last year’s EndSARS protests.

He said, “The charismatic head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Service, Abba Kyari, has been suspended pending the investigation of allegations by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that he was in cahoots with Ramon Abbas, better known as “Hushpuppi “a Nigerian “Yahoo boy,” a popular Nigerian term for cybercriminals, involved in money laundering and fraud.

“Abbas allegedly paid Kyari N8 million (about $20,000) to arrest and jail a rogue member of Abbas’ criminal group; those allegations are currently being investigated by the Nigerian police.

“Whatever Nigeria’s reputation, that of the police is poor, both at home and abroad. Among Nigerians, the police are a byword for corruption—grand and petty—and harassment, especially of the poor. Anti-police sentiment boiled over late last year in protests against the notoriously brutal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)—for which Kyari formerly served as the officer-in-charge—collectively known as #EndSARS.

“The Buhari administration has promised police reform, of which there has been little evidence. However, the investigation of Abba Kyari could be a hopeful sign.”

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