IGP should publicly hand over Abba Kyari to NDLEA to prove his innocence—Lawyer

“He (Kyari) brought with him the money from the sale of the 5kg share of the NDLEA team, a total of $61,400. Our officer, however, preferred to take the money inside his car. Well, the car was wired with sound and video recorders. And the moment was documented, part of which I will play for you at the end of this briefing…”

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An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has urged the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, to immediately hand over suspended Head of the Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to prove his innocence.

Olajengbesi made this known in a statement on Monday hours after the NDLEA declared Kyari wanted over alleged drug links.

He said, “The IGP must immediately order the arrest of Abba Kyari and hand him over to the NDLEA at a public press conference if truly the police do not shield bad eggs.

“He (Kyari) brought with him the money from the sale of the 5kg share of the NDLEA team, a total of $61,400. Our officer, however, preferred to take the money inside his car. Well, the car was wired with sound and video recorders. And the moment was documented, part of which I will play for you at the end of this briefing…”

“The IGP must prove that he is not backing Abba Kyari in his alleged atrocious crimes exposed in the public glare in the last one year.”

NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, had chronicled how Kyari belonged to a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline.

The anti-drug agency said Kyari contacted one of its officers in Abuja and struck a deal to secure the release of a total of 25kg seized cocaine.

Babafemi said, “After the Agency gave the officer the green light to play along, he and Kyari began a WhatsApp call for the rest of the day. The officer conveyed “their” willingness to play the game.”

“He (Kyari) brought with him the money from the sale of the 5kg share of the NDLEA team, a total of $61,400. Our officer, however, preferred to take the money inside his car. Well, the car was wired with sound and video recorders. And the moment was documented, part of which I will play for you at the end of this briefing.

“We have a trove of intelligence, hard facts, from chats to photos and video and a detailed transcript of the communication between him and the NDLEA officer,” NDLEA spokesperson said.

Reacting, the human rights lawyer recalled how Kyari was indicted in 2021 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States for his alleged role in a $1m scam allegedly perpetrated by alleged international Internet fraudster Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi and five others.

FBI Special Agent, Andrew Innocenti, had said he obtained voice calls and WhatsApp conversations between Kyari and Hushpuppi, adding that Hushpuppi also paid the police officer N8m or $20,600 for the arrest and detention of a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Vincent.

The United States Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California had ordered the FBI to arrest Kyari but the IGP and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) evasively continued to shield Kyari till this moment.

Olajengbesi added, “Justice must be served in the case of Abba Kyari and it must be served now to deter the bad eggs amongst the security agents colluding with drug barons and internet fraudsters to perpetrate heinous crimes and tarnish the image of the Force.

“The Police and the Nigerian Government have no excuse not to arrest Abba Kyari now that a government agency has found him culpable of heavy crimes. There must be no cover ups, no matter whose ox is gored.”

Pelumi Olajengbesi
Lead Partner
Law Corridor, Abuja.

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