Head,Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari,
ABUJA- Sunday 1 August 2021: After a four-hour marathon meeting between the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Usman Baba, and the head of his Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, the police boss has directed Kyari to respond in writing to the allegations contained in the United States’ court summons linking him to a $1.1 million fraud committed by the internet fraudster, Abbas Ramon also known as Hushpuppi, THISDAY has learnt.
THISDAY also gathered that the IG will also set up an investigative panel to review Kyari’s response and his alleged culpability.
This comes as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was non-committal on the visit of FBI agents to its headquarters and their request to arrest Kyari for extradition.
But foremost human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has said the United States may activate the existing extradition treaty between the US and Nigeria should the federal government decline to hand over Kyari.
There is also a groundswell of opinion in the security and intelligence community that Kyari must not be sacrificed given his efforts and role in crime containment in the country.
Also, despite the evidence of Kyari’s alleged collusion with Hushpuppi, there is a measure of confidence in police circles that Kyari would scale through the FBI hurdle.
CEOAFRICA source gathered that Kyari met with the IG on Friday for four hours at the Force Headquarters where he explained his side of the story in response to the US court indictment.
A senior police officer privy to the meeting told CEOAFRICA source that the IG later directed him to respond “officially and in writing”.
According to the source, Kyari is expected to make his official submission to the IG this week.
CEOAFRICA source also gathered that the IG has concluded plans to set up a committee to review the allegations contained in the US court papers as they relate to Kyari.
“A committee will look at the matter. They (members of the committee) have been notified individually,” the source added.
Force spokesman and Commissioner for Police (CP), Frank Mba, declined to comment when contacted .
The IG had in an earlier statement by Mba, ordered an internal review of Kyari’s alleged involvement in the series of crimes committed by the notorious internet fraudster.
Meanwhile, the EFCC was non-committal on the alleged visit of FBI agents to the commission to seek the anti-graft agency’s collaboration given the standing working relationship between the two security agencies.
Spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, declined to confirm or deny the alleged official communication between the two security organisations.
“I don’t know. I can’t confirm”, he said.
However, Falana told CEOAFRICA source that the United States may activate the existing extradition treaty between the US and Nigeria should the federal government declines to hand over Kyari to the US authorities.
“The United States and Nigeria have an extradition treaty which covers the offences allegedly committed by DCP Abba Kyari. If the police officer insists on his innocence, he may want to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the District Court in the United States.
“Otherwise, the United States government will have to request for his extradition by the terms of the treaty. Once the request is received by the federal government, the Attorney-General/Minister of Justice will commence extradition proceedings in the Federal High Court”, he said.
“Alternatively, the office of the Attorney-General may file charges against the police officer since the offences were committed in Nigeria”, Falana said.
He urged the federal government to handle the matter by international laws.
“When I suggested to the federal government to request for the extradition of Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Igboho), I was simply advising the authorities of both Nigeria and Benin Republic to operate under international law.
“I am also asking Nigeria and the United States to handle Abba Kyari’s case under international law”, he said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, retired senior security personnel said Kyari’s matter should be handled carefully because of its delicate nature.
“While the matter should be handled carefully, we must remember that he is innocent until proven guilty. Kyari, it must be noted, is very important to the security and intelligence sector given his contributions to national security”, he added.
There is also a measure of confidence in police circles that Kyari would overcome his travails.