The Nigerian police authorities have come under immense pressure from top government officials, monarchs and ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains to clear suspended commander of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari after an investigation into alleged infractions committed by the disgraced police officer.
On August 26, Usman Baba, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) received the report of the panel set up to probe the bribery allegations against Kyari, over his relationship with Hushpuppi, the self-confessed international fraudster.
An FBI agent, Andrew Innocenti, had in a document titled, ‘Criminal Complaint By Telephone Or Other Reliable Electronic Means’ filed before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleged that a suspected fraudster, Abass Ramon, aka Hushpuppi, contracted Kyari to detain a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent, for threatening to expose the alleged $1.1 million fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
The agency said Hushpuppi paid $20,600 into a bank account provided by Kyari.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) had suspended Kyari from office as a Deputy Commissioner of Police and head of the IRT based on the recommendation of the IGP.
It was gathered that the DIG Joseph Egbunike-led panel, which submitted its report in August, established that there were infractions on the part of Kyari in his communications with Hushpuppi but sources told SaharaReporters that the police authorities are being pressured to clear him of wrongdoings.
“Police authorities are being pressured to clear Kyari; those campaigning for him claim he is the only one who can find a solution to the insecurity in South-East,” a police source told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters learnt that one of the influential Nigerians working behind the scenes to ensure Kyari is off the hook is the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
"Not only some influential Nigerians, even Malami (AGF) also wants to clear Abba Kyari," another top source said.
It was also learnt that a massive publicity campaign had been launched to call for his reinstatement and get him off the hook.
Such campaigners have seen social media as a veritable tool to deploy to sway the mind of the police authorities and the public.
For instance, a political pressure group, Concerned Advocates For Good Governance (CAGC), recently said it had consulted US-based law firms to defend Kyari.
“We have diligently consulted with about three notable law firms in the United States to give us their legal opinions on what can be done to formidably defend Abba Kyari,” Olusegun Bamgbose, the President-General of CAGC had said.
“One of the leading firms has replied to us and gone ahead to send us the indictment against Abba Kyari and other details which is about 26 pages.
“The reputable law firm, well-grounded on extradition issues, has assured us of their readiness to represent Kyari’s interest before and after his possible extradition to the US.”
Similarly, a chieftain of the ruling APC and Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe recently alleged that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), its security wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) and bandits have been capitalising on Kyari absence to wreak havoc in the country, particularly in the South-East.
He posted on Facebook, "FEDERAL GOVERNMENT biko, WE WANT ABBA KYARI BACK IN THE SOUTH EAST. IT LOOKS AS IF IPOB & EASTERN SECURITY NETWORK, BANDITS ARE CELEBRATING HIS EXIT. WE NEED HIM BACK BY ALL MEANS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.”
Another Facebook user wrote, “Please @BisongOnonye, can Abba Kyari be restored to the Nigeria Police? The mayhem and heinous crimes being committed with impunity down the South East is alarming and needs his attention.
“The current Man in charge in my humble opinion is finding Abba's shoes too big to fill. The South East is currently nosediving into a 'failed region'. May God Save My Home Land.”
On Instagram, Chinedum Agwaramgbo said, "Pls ABBA KYARI should be re-instated! I don't really care now about the allegations against him...which are only basically that - unproven allegations! South East is in danger of imploding! BRING ABBA KYARI BACK!"
And in response to Agwaramgbo, one Bond Chris Ohuche said, "So no other police officer is capable? Alright, why not ask for the disbandment of the entire police force since it can't perform without one man?"
Meanwhile, the probe panel set up to investigate Kyari has since August submitted a compromised report.
SaharaReporters had reported that the panel found Kyari guilty of some infractions after its investigation but recommended that Kyari should be demoted and not dismissed.
Top sources in the Nigeria Police Force had told SaharaReporters that the plot by the police authorities to hand Kyari a demotion was to frustrate his much anticipated extradition to the United States.
SaharaReporters had also reported that the probe panel set up by the IGP after three weeks of dilly-dallying turned in its report on the alleged indictment of Kyari by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Competent sources however revealed that what the panel recommended to the IGP was a demotion – the report which would form the basis of what the Police Service Commission would act upon.
“The police report on Abba Kyari only recommends demotion to a lower rank. They figured that he could be extradited if dismissed. Kyari’s real enemies are at the police service commission and what they want is an outright dismissal.
“But they have to defer to the IGP. The IGP is no doubt Kyari’s godfather. So we are waiting to see what he would approve,” a top source had revealed.