The Police Service Commission has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to deepen investigations into the connection between the suspended erstwhile head of the Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari, and an internet scammer, Abbas Ramon, commonly known as Hushpuppi.
The commission, it was learnt, gave the IG two weeks to turn in the report which would be reviewed by the PSC Standing Committee on Discipline.
The directive to the IG was sequel to the advice from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
A four-man Special Investigation Panel headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, had earlier probed Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Kyari had been suspended in July 2021 for alleged involvement in a $1.1 million Internet fraud allegedly perpetrated by Hushpuppi and four others; AbdulRahman Juma (Abdul); Vincent Chibuzo (Kelly); Rukayat Fashola (Morayo); and Bolatito Agbabiaka (Bolamide).
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had alleged that Hushpuppi paid $20,600 to two bank accounts allegedly provided by Kyari on January 20, 2020.
Kyari denied wrongdoing.
The PUNCH gathered on Wednesday that the AGF said the facts contained in the police investigation report were not strong enough to convict the DCP.
Malami was said to have informed the commission that the police investigation on Kyari was not water-tight and that more facts were needed to establish the relationship between the ex-IRT commander and Hushpuppi, who is awaiting sentencing after striking a plea bargain deal with the United States authorities.
Based on the AGF’s advice, the commission was said to have asked the IG to carry out a further probe into Kyari’s relationship with Hushpuppi.
A senior official, who confided in our correspondent, stated, “The advice from the AGF is that the case needs further investigation; that the evidence produced on Abba Kyari was not enough to convict him despite the fact that they have established a prima facie case against him. But the facts cannot convict him in the court of law.
“So, the police report was returned and the IG was asked to set up a special panel to look at the case. We have given them just a short period of two weeks to turn in their report.
“The final report is expected to return to the standing committee which will review and send recommendations to the plenary where the final decision on Kyari will be taken.”
Meanwhile, spokesman, US Attorney Office for Central District of California, Thom Mrozek, has said Hushpuppi would be sentenced on February 14.
According to BBC Pidgin, Mrozek, however, did not state the jail terms, which is expected to be between 10 and 18 years.
“He may be subjected to removal from the United States once he completes his prison sentence,” he said.
UN Deputy Sec Gen Condemns Gruesome Killing of Deborah, Demands Justice
Amina Muhammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, has called for justice following the killing of Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto over blasphemy.
Muhammed spoke out via her official Twitter page on Tuesday, stating that religions should not be “misinterpreted to preach violence”.
“Justice must be done for the senseless, brutal killing of the young Deborah Yakubu in Nigeria. Religions should not be misinterpreted to preach violence when they promote peace.
“My prayers are with the family and for the repose of her soul,” she tweeted.
On Monday, the Sokoto Police Command arraigned two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in the state, for their alleged participation in the crime.
The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges while the defence counsel, Prof. Mansur Ibrahim, applied for their bail on liberal terms, citing constitutional provisions and sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
The trial judge reserved the ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded at a correctional centre.
AfDB’s Adesina Not Contesting for Presidency – Report
The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, will not be contesting the Presidency of Nigeria.
A support group had purchased and submitted the N100m Presidential form of the All Progressives Congress for the top banker last week.
Some had also reported that Adesina visited Mamman Daura, the influential nephew of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) last week to seek his support.
But The PUNCH confirmed that Adesina will not be taking part in the Presidential screening of the APC slated for May 23.
Adesina’s office is expected to issue a statement in a few hours distancing himself from Nigeria’s partisan politics.
The AfDB regulations bar its President from partisan politics.
Specifically, Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the agreement establishing AfDB, titled ‘Prohibition of Political Activity; the International Character of the Bank’, states that “The Bank, its President, Vice Presidents, officers and staff shall not interfere in the political affairs of any member (country); nor shall they be influenced in their decisions by the political character of the member (country) concerned.”
Paragraph 3 of the article states that “The President, Vice Presidents, officers and staff of the Bank, in discharge of their offices, owe their duty entirely to the Bank and to no other authority.”
Similarly, the AfDB code of conduct bars its executive from partisan politics. Section 10 of the Code reads: “Although Executive Directors are elected representatives of governments from their constituencies, they shall during their tenure of office as executive directors refrain from participating in active politics in their home countries or elsewhere.”
Should Adesina seek to run for the office of President of Nigeria, he would need to resign his current position permanently, a risk it was learnt the top banker was not willing to take.
There are at least 25 other aspirants running for President on the platform of the APC.
Some of them include APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; oil mogul, Tein Jack-Rich; Senator Ajayi Boroffice; Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State; Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and many others.
N80bn Fraud: EFCC Arrests Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris
Nigeria’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, has been arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds, according to a report by PREMIUM TIMES.
According to the report, Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday evening and flown to Abuja, the nation’s capital, for interrogation.
Sources said the EFCC has for sometime now been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which was allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.
The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, investigators said.
The sources further said that after progress was made in the investigation, Idris was summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honour the invitations.
“We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us,” one of our sources said. “We were left with no choice than to keep him under watch and arrest him.”
However, a top EFCC confirmed the development but asked not to be named because he had no permission to discuss the matter with the media.
President Muhammed Buhari appointed Mr Idris accountant-general on June 25, 2015.