Nigeria’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, is not new to being enmeshed in corruption cases.
The latest scandal is the revelation by serial internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, more commonly Hushpuppi, who claimed to have paid bribe to Kyari arrest one of his friends in a $1.1million deal.
Although Kyari had denied the allegation in a hurried statement, a United State court had ordered his arrest in the alleged dirty deals with Hushpuppi.
Amid the unfolding saga, SaharaReporters examines some of the times when police chief, Kyari, was caught in the web of financial scandals and controversies.
N42million Scandal In 2020
In October 2020, a businessman, Afeez Mojeed, petitioned the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating the disbanded police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Mojeed had alleged that in 2014, Kyari, who was the Officer-in-Charge of SARS in Lagos, detained him for 14 days and extorted him of millions of naira.
In a petition filed on October 22, 2020, through Salawu Akingbolu & Co, Mojeed’s counsel, and addressed to the newly formed judicial panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses in Lagos, Kyari and his officers were accused of forcefully taking about 32 items from Mojeed’s house during a raid in 2014.
In the petition, Mojeed said his ordeal began on the night of October 18, 2014, when four gun-wielding policemen from SARS broke into his house.
“They forcefully took his wedding ring and that of his wife from them, opened their wardrobe and took the sum N280,000 and the sum of N50,000 was also taken from his car, after which the Honda Accord (2008) model was seized and taken away till today,” the petition had read.
Phones, landed properties, cheque books, bank cards and other valuable documents were allegedly taken from his house.
He was later “arraigned on a trump-up charge” of stealing N97million and for over one year, the matter was in court, the police “never showed up or brought any witness”.
After several adjournments, the court reportedly struck out the charge against him.
According to the petition, while in detention, “the police under the supervision and threat of Abba Kyari (OC SARS) forced him to sign three Zenith Bank cheques in the sum of N150,000 each making N450,000 in total on
October 22 – 23, 2014 and gave the sum to one Alabi Olawale Nurudeen who is also one of their cronies to withdraw”.
The police also allegedly obtained password to his bank card with which they withdrew another N395,000 from his account between October 20 to 23, 2014.
Allegedly on the directive of Kyari, Mojeed was taken by “one Inspector Fola, Corporal Bolu and Corporal Akeem to Diamond Bank Ajah branch on October 23 and 24, 2014 to forcefully transfer the sum of N41million and N800,000 respectively from his corporate account M. Mateen Concepts into the account of one Obinna Edward, whom our client had never seen or heard of before, after which they shared the money.”
Taking Over Suspected Kidnapper’s Lush Property In 2018
In a report by Premium Times on January 21, 2019, Kyari's team was accused of taking over multi-billion naira properties of a suspected kidnapper who was killed by the police in 2018.
The Nigerian Human Rights Commission said in an October 2018 petition to the then Inspector-General, Ibrahim Idris, that the IRT, led by Abba Kyari, a deputy police commissioner, had been illegally depleting the asset of Collins Ezenwa, a suspected kidnapper who was gunned down in January 2018.
Kyari had said Ezenwa was a notorious kidnapper who had committed untold atrocities before he was killed.
The police in Imo State accused Ezenwa, a former police corporal, of leading a syndicate of deadly abductors. He was killed during an exchange of gunfire along Enugu-Owerri Expressway.
Kyari and his team members were said to have taken over Ezenwa's properties worth billions of naira.
A hotel linked to Ezenwa in Enugu was estimated at N220,000,000. He also had two duplexes and eight blocks of flats worth a combined N180 million, according to the NHRC petition.
The victim, who was a police corporal before he resigned, also had a fleet of exotic vehicles. Other properties of Ezenwa have also been identified in Imo and Abia States, estimating his worth in billions.
Earlier in the month, Kyari had appeared in South-East billionaire, Obi Cubana’s mother’s burial which attracted mixed reactions from many Nigerians, particularly Igbos who took to social media to criticise his presence at the funeral.
Kyari was seen at the burial beside Cubana in viral pictures.
This did not go down well with Igbos who accused Kyari of being behind the killing of youths in the east.
Some Nigerians also condemned Obi Cubana for inviting someone who allegedly hated his people to his hometown.