Nigeria’s attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, says there is no “sufficient evidence” that Abba Kyari, suspended deputy commissioner of police (DCP), was involved in money laundering.
In July 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed how Kyari allegedly collaborated with Hushpuppi, self-confessed international fraudster, to arrest another fraudster “after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam on Qatari business people”.
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 alleged relationship with Hushpuppi.
The police thereafter sent the report to Malami for legal advice.
In his advice, Malami had said there was a prima facie case of money laundering and that further investigations should be conducted into the matter.
“That there exists prima facie case of conspiracy, collaboration, receipt, conversion, transfer and/or retention of proceeds of unlawful activities contrary to the provision of sections 15, 17 & 18 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and Section 17 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, Cap E, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, against DCP Abba Kyari and other suspects in view of the overwhelming evidence showing the nature of his disguised financial transactions and activities with Abbas Hushpuppi, Efe Martins, Usman Ibrahim Waziri, Sikiru Adekoya, Hussaini Ala and Sharon Festus, who are all confirmed members of an international Internet fraud network,” Malami had said in the legal advice.
“Although the facts and circumstances of this case as contained in the case file are suggestive to money laundering offences against DCP Abba Kyari and his accomplices namely: Abbas Hushpuppi, Efe Martins, Usman Ibrahim Waziri, Sikiru Adekoya, Hussaini Ala and Sharon Festus; to successfully prosecute them, there is a need for a more thorough dissecting and tracing of the suspected 33 proceeds of crime received by DCP Abba Kyari directly or indirectly through the said accomplices.”
However, the attorney-general’s recent advice contradicts his previous position.
According to the Punch, a letter issued by Mohammed Abubakar, director of public prosecutions, ministry of justice, dated February 4, 2022, and addressed to the inspector-general of police, said there is no sufficient proof that Kyari was involved in money laundering.
“I am directed to inform you that after a careful study of the said response wherein you stated that ‘the monies have been traced to Zenith Bank account no. 2255416115 belonging to Usman Ibrahim Waziri; Guaranty Trust Bank account no. 0130665392 belonging to Adekoya Sikiru; Zenith Bank account no. 2080537566 belonging to Hussein Ala and other funds went to Sharon Festus. The monies were withdrawn and utilised by the aforementioned account holders and the lady,” the letter reads.
“It is our view that the above response has not linked the suspect, DCP Abba Kyari, to the offence of money laundering as the evidence contained in the case diary is not sufficient to indicate or show that the said monies were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin, more so that the aforementioned recipients or receivers exonerated him in their statements as having nothing to do with the monies.”
A few days ago, the federal government approved the process for the extradition of Kyari to the United States
Kyari is also facing an alleged drug-dealing case at the federal high court in Abuja.
On February 14, the NDLEA declared Kyari wanted “over his involvement in a 25kg cocaine deal”. Hours later, the police announced his arrest and subsequent transfer to the NDLEA custody.