A layman’s objective x-ray of the US court indictment of DCP Abba Kyari – Dr. Uche Diala

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First, for full disclosure, I am neither a detective nor a lawyer. I do not have any interest whatsoever in the DCP Abba Kyari issue neither do I intend to hold brief for him but when I observed the hastiness with which many people were ready to throw him under the bus, convict and sentence him, even before he has his day in court, I decided to dig deeper.
So when I obtained the 69 page Case File of Criminal Complaint, Case No: 2:21-mj-00760-DUTY of the United States District Court for the Central District of California in the case of “United States of America versus Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, Aka “Ray Hushpuppi,”Aka “Hush,”Aka “Malik,”; Abdulrahman Imraan Juma, Aka “Abdul,”Aka “Rahman,”Vincent Kelly Chibuzo, Aka “Kelly,”; Abba Alhaji Kyari; Rukayat Motunraya Fashola, Aka “Morayo,”; Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka, Aka “Bolamide,” As Defendants”, I decided to study it in detail.
I have re-produced below from the document, verbatim, pages 5-6 and 55-60 which are the pages that state the case against DCP Abba Kyari devoid of some of the misrepresentations that some have been sharing. Pages 11-15 of the document only dwell on the “identification of Kyari”.
I would urge anyone who is interested in facts and objective discourse to read the extract below and reach his or her own informed and objective conclusions; even if it is for academic purposes.
#ForMe: First, I must say for the umpteenth time that DCP Abba Kyari ought to have been more discreet, especially at the level he operates.
The sad truth nonetheless is that what is presented in the document is the typical Nigeria police scenario. I am sure no Nigerian would be surprised one bit.
For DCP Abba Kyari, Abbass aka Hushpuppi was another Nigerian ‘big man’ and celebrity. He was ‘eager’ to please the big man. When Abbas says deal with my boy Chibuzo; he is spoiling my ‘job’; he will not and did not ask, what ‘job’?’
Furthermore, for the Americans, ‘job’ or ‘deal’ might mean what it means but for Nigerians and in Nigeria, it means a totally different thing or even nothing. Hardly anyone will raise any eye brow here if someone tells him, I have a job or a deal I’m doing. So, that Abbas said ‘job’ to Kyari and Kyari did not ask what job, does not mean in my view that Kyari understood or knew that it was a fraud or that there was a fraudulent extortion going on.
So all that said, a key question to ask is: Was Abba Kyari aware of the fraud being perpetrated by Abbass aka Hushppup at the time? In my considered view; from what was presented in the document, the answer is obviously and factually NO.
The FBI document sought to indict Kyari of participation “in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain and launder money” in its conclusion when it stated on page 65 that:
“KYARI, a Deputy Commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force, arranged the arrest of CHIBUZO at the request of ABBAS to prevent CHIBUZO from interfering in the scheme defrauding the Victim Businessperson.
“KYARI had CHIBUZO held in custody for a month and also facilitated payments from ABBAS to the Nigeria Police Force personnel who arrested CHIBUZO, in order to ensure CHIBUZO’s continued arrest, thereby preventing CHIBUZO from notifying the Victim Businessperson of ABBAS’ and JUMA’s fraudulent scheme and preventing CHIBUZO from hijacking the scheme for his own benefit.
“KYARI’s knowing involvement in the scheme allowed ABBAS and JUMA to continue defrauding the Victim Businessperson undetected and receive money obtained from the Victim Businessperson after it was laundered.”
However in my lay man’s but considered view; looking at the facts presented in the indicting Court document itself, they do not bear that out.
He may be accused of other things like abuse of office, corruption, a whole lot of professional misconduct etc but not an accomplice to this fraud by Hushpuppi for which he has pleaded guilty.
All that said, I repeat, Kyari ought to be more discreet and above board but in the end he is just another Nigerian police man. The content of the document might also call to question his explanation on his Facebook page but I shall wait till all the facts are examined and cross examined on both sides.
#Note: This is my humble opinion, without prejudice to any one else’s read of it.
……
RELEVANT EXCERPTS FROM THE COURT DOCUMENT
Page 5 & 6
“CHIBUZO’s messages to ABBAS during that time show that he was unhappy with the amount that, and/or speed with which, ABBAS was paying him, so he contacted the Victim Businessperson directly. CHIBUZO told the Victim Businessperson that JUMA and ABBAS were “fake,” in an attempt to convince the Victim Businessperson to stop making fraudulent payments to ABBAS and JUMA, and to make fraudulent payments to him instead. When JUMA and ABBAS learned of CHIBUZO’s interference, ABBAS arranged to have KYARI – a highly decorated Deputy Commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force – arrest CHIBUZO for interfering with the fraud scheme. ABBAS specifically told KYARI that
“CHIBUZO contacted “the job” behind ABBAS’ back to “divert the job forhimself.” ABBAS asked KYARI to have the police administer the “serious beating of his life” and arranged with KYARI to pay to keep CHIBUZO imprisoned for at least a month, so that the fraud scheme could be successfully executed, and the money could be obtained. After KYARI arrested CHIBUZO, he sent ABBAS photographs of CHIBUZO in custody and later told ABBAS that he would not allow CHIBUZO’s girlfriend to pay money to get CHIBUZO out of custody as he would have done for a “normal arrest.” Following CHIBUZO’s arrest, JUMA and ABBAS convinced the Victim Businessperson to make the payments of $299,983.58 described above.”
Pages 55 – 60
“134. On January 15, 2020, this time using WhatsApp, ABBAS sent an audio recording to KYARI, stating, essentially, that he wanted to remind KYARI about what they discussed earlier.
135. On January 16, 2020, ABBAS sent the following threats to CHIBUZO:
I dey always tell people to think well before they offend me and make them make sure they fit stand the consequences when the time comes. I won’t say more than that but very soon, very very soon, the wrath of my hands shall find you and when it does, it will damage you forever.
At this point I no get discussion with you, u have committed a crime that won’t be forgiven, that is punishable and you shall receive die punishment in due time I swear with my life you will regret messing with me, you will even wish you died before my hands will touch you.
136. Also on January 16, 2020, ABBAS sent a message to KYARI on WhatsApp, and then placed five calls to another phone number (+2348060733588) that was listed as “ABBA KYARI.” Call records show that the last three of the calls were answered and that one of the calls lasted more than two minutes.
Shortly after that, ABBAS received a message from KYARI, confirming “We would pick him today or tomorrow.” ABBAS wrote, “I will take care of the team also after they pick him up.” KYARI confirmed “Yes ooo.”
a. Based on the conversation described in paragraphs 143 to 145, ABBAS planned to pay the Nigeria Police Force officers who arrested CHIBUZO for that service.
b. This was not the only time that ABBAS arranged payments with KYARI. On May 20, 2020, ABBAS sent KYARI transaction receipts for two transactions from accounts at Nigerian banks (GTBank and Zenith Bank) of a person ABBAS knew in the U.A.E. – a person also arrested with ABBAS in ABBAS’ apartment in the U.A.E. by Dubai Police on June 9, 2020 – to the Nigerian bank accounts of another person in Nigeria. The amounts on the transaction receipts totaled 8 million Nigerian Naira, which was approximately $20,600 based on publicly available exchange rate information.
137. Attempting to reason with ABBAS, on January 18, 2020, CHIBUZO recounted for ABBAS all the assistance he had provided in the scheme to victimize the Victim Businessperson, including creating the “power of attorney” document (see paragraphs 67 – 68), devising a story to tell the Victim Businessperson (see paragraph 117), and facilitating the creation of the “telephone banking” number
(see paragraphs 109 – 116) and fake Wells Fargo website (see paragraph 117).
138. As discussed in paragraph 32.b, on January 20, 2020, KYARI sent to ABBAS biographical, identifying information for CHIBUZO, along with a photograph of him. In a conversation immediately following, ABBAS confirmed “that is him sir.” KYARI stated, “We have arrested the guy . . . He is in my Cell now. This is his picture after we arrested him today.” (The below image is a cropped version of the photograph that KYARI sent to ABBAS.)
139. KYARI sent the biographical information about, and photograph of, CHIBUZO to ABBAS using two different WhatsApp numbers – the second of which KYARI said was his “private number.” From that point on, KYARI and ABBAS primarily discussed the arrest and detention of KYARI through WhatsApp on this “private number.”
140. After receiving the photograph of CHIBUZO, ABBAS stated, “I want him to go through serious beating of his life.” KYARI responded, “Hahahaha,” and ABBAS replied, “Seriously sir.” KYARI then asked for details about what CHIBUZO did “on audio,” which KYARI said was “So that we will know what to do.”
141. In response to KYARI’s question about what CHIBUZO had done to ABBAS, ABBAS sent KYARI an audio message, which is transcribed here, describing how CHIBUZO had tried to steal away a fraud victim (i.e., “the job”) from him:
What he did is, I have one job. The job want to pay me 500, umm, 75,000 dollars [i.e., $575,000]. He went to message the job behind me because I told him to help me make one document for me to give the job. Then he went – he has a – I gave him the details. Then he went to message the job behind my back and try to divert the money and in this process he tell the job because of the documents he gave me that I gave the job, he tell the job, “These document they sent to you before. These people are fake. This money – is me who can help you to get it.
Come to me le – bring this money you want to pay these people to me. I’m the only one who can help you,” and all these things to divert the job for himself.
142. After listening to the message, KYARI wrote, “Ok I understand. But he has not succeeded.” ABBAS claimed CHIBUZO had taken some money, and provided KYARI with two screenshots, one of which contained the phone number 3054405586 (the phone number CHIBUZO used to contact the Victim Businessperson). The screenshots showed a person contacting the Victim
Businessperson and stating that he was providing information to try to “help” the Victim Businessperson. KYARI responded, “Yeah I understand.” KYARI did not request other information or evidence relating to CHIBUZO’s role in the scheme, ask questions about the nature of the transaction, or ask about why CHIBUZO told the Victim Businessperson that ABBAS was “fake.”
143. ABBAS then told KYARI, “Now the [Victim Businessperson] was skeptic to pay me the money cos he keep attacking the [Victim Businessperson] from his end. Now I can handle the [Victim Businessperson] correctly.” ABBAS further told KYARI that he wanted to pay money to send CHIBUZO to jail for a long time, stating “Please sir I want to spend money to send this boy to jail, let him go for a very long time.” KYARI responded, “Ok bro.. I understand.. I will discuss with my team who arrested him . . . And handling the case. We will do something about it.”
144. ABBAS responded, “Let me know how I can send money to the team sir. Let them deal with him like armed robber.” KYARI responded, “OK I will send their account details to u.” ABBAS further wrote, “He betray me and try to take food out my mouth, this is great punishable sin,” and KYARI responded, “Yeah bro.” ABBAS then continued, “I want him to suffer for many years.”
KYARI responded, “Hahahaha Hahahaha.”
145. Approximately six minutes later, KYARI provided the account information for a bank account at a Nigerian bank, Zenith Bank, in the name of a person other than KYARI himself. ABBAS responded “Ok sir, tomorrow by noon,” indicating that he would make the payment to KYARI’s team by the next day.
146. On the same day, ABBAS sent JUMA the photograph of CHIBUZO in custody, which KYARI had sent.
147. Approximately a month later, on February 19, 2020, KYARI sent a message to ABBAS, saying, “Hello hush with [sic] need to talk about the subject under detention with me.” ABBAS asked “Should I call u on this number sir?” to which KYARI replied “Yes call me.”
148. The following day, KYARI sent ABBAS multiple photographs of CHIBUZO to ABBAS, including close-up photographs showing a rash or skin disease on CHIBUZO’s torso and arms. ABBAS responded, “I don pity am, make them leave am from Tuesday.” KYARI wrote, “Ok bro, they just brought him from hospital. The fever and the rashes is giving him serious Wahala. He got the disease from other suspects in the cell.” ABBAS responded, “I see am, I no too pity am. That’s what people like him deserve but I go forgive am for God sake.”
In other words, based on my training and experience with Nigerian Pidgin, ABBAS was essentially stating, in part, “I don’t pity him. That’s what people like him deserve, but I will forgive him for God’s sake.”
a. Based on the date of the messages and later discussion described in paragraph 150, ABBAS was – on Thursday, February 20, 2020 – requesting that KYARI not to release CHIBUZO until Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
149. ABBAS then told KYARI that CHIBUZO’s girlfriend messaged him, trying to raise one million Naira to secure CHIBUZO’s release, and said ABBAS promised to contribute 100,000 Naira. KYARI stated “They were thinking it’s normal arrest that is why they think money can remove him . . . No money can remove him here [¶] Hahahaha.” ABBAS added, “But it’s better for them to think that way, I like it like that,” and KYARI responded, “Yeah.”
150. ABBAS then said, “No problem sir from Tuesday he can go,” apparently giving KYARI his blessing to release CHIBUZO from custody. KYARI responded, “Ok bro. We will also keep his phone and other gadgets for some weeks.” ABBAS responded, “Yes those ones they should not give him again, those ones are gone . . . Make he no see those ones again for life,” instructing KYARI not to return CHIBUZO’s electronic devices. KYARI responded, “Yes he will not see it Again,” indicating that he would accede to ABBAS’ request.”
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