As Nigerians anxiously await the outcome of the ongoing investigation into the alleged involvement of the Commander of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP-Intelligence Response Team, (IGP-IRT) DCP Abba Kyari in the Ramon Abbas alias Hushpuppi scandal, some senior police officers (SPOs) are currently pulling all the strings at their disposal to be appointed as head of the elite force.
The IGP-IRT was floated by the Police authorities in 2019 as a replacement for the disbanded Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FARS). The IGP-IRT is the elite intelligence arm of the Nigeria Police Force and has successfully handled several high profile criminal cases.
Businessday gathered that while a majority of the members of the IGP-IRT favour the appointment of the second in command (2 i/c ) ACP Sunny Ubua as acting commander, some senior police officers are rooting for an officer from outside the team.
Their argument is that although Abba Kyari was the IGP-IRT commander he might not have acted alone, hence the need for someone from outside to take charge of affairs of the team during the period of the investigations.
An acting commander would be announced on Monday.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) in the afternoon of Sunday 1st August 2021, suspended Abba Kyari from office as a deputy commissioner of police and head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The suspension was based on the recommendation of Inspector General of Police, Usma Baba as a temporary measure while the police investigate Kyari’s relationship with a popular fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi.
In a statement issued on Sunday by its spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, the commission said Abba Kyari is relieved of all his duties pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The former IGP-IRT commander who has since denied any wrongdoing in the matter is respected in police circles and across the country for his breakthroughs in crime bursting. He was indicted by a U.S. court as a conspirator in a $1.1 million fraudulent deal against a Qatari businessman. Based on the alleged illegal dealings, a U.S. court ordered his arrest and prosecution.
Police spokesperson Frank Mba had in a statement he released on Sunday morning 1st August 2021 with Ref No. CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.4/26 conveyed the IGP’s recommendation to the Police Service Commission. The recommendation came two days after IGP ordered an internal review of the allegations against Kyari.
According to Mba, in the letter to the Chairman, PSC dated 31st July, “The IGP further noted that the suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference. The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.”
He furthered stated that a Special Investigation Panel (SIP) comprising four senior police officers, to be chaired by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Joseph Egbunike, has been set up to investigate the allegations levelled against the DCP Kyari.
“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed of the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain a detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter,” the statement read.
Last week, Kyari in a statement posted on his verified Facebook page, denied any wrongdoing. Although he admitted knowing Hushpuppi he said he never demanded money from him stressing that he only referred Hushpuppi to a tailor whom the fraudster paid N300,000 for sowing clothes.
The police authorities are expected to announce Kyari’s replacement this Monday