Nigerian social media influencer, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas popularly known as Ray Hushpuppi, was charged and indicted in a $1.1 million fraud by the United States Justice Department after he pleaded guilty.
Nigeria’s Supercop, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, who is highly rated by members of the public, was mentioned in a bribery scandal involving Hushpuppi.
Hushpuppy, during interrogation by US authorities, alleged that he paid bribes to Mr Kyari, to have a fellow fraudster, one Kelly Chibuzor, arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over the $1.1 million fraud against a Qatari businessperson, after he felt shortchanged and threatened to expose the transaction.
Mr Kyari got Chibuzor arrested and jailed and then sent his pictures to Hushpuppi in addition to his bank account number details so that he can wire transfer for his team, compensation for having done a good job.
The conversation between Hushpuppi and Abba Kyari
The FBI obtained the phone communication between Kyari and Hushpuppi. See full text of the conversation between the duo as contained in the records of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
…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.”
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 CHIBUZO through WhatsApp on this “private number.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
On the same day, ABBAS sent JUMA the photograph of CHIBUZO in custody, which KYARI had sent.
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.”
The following day, KYARI sent ABBAS multiple photographs of CHIBUZO, 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.”
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 release CHIBUZO until Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
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.”
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.
Doctor’s strike: States pay foreign doctors five times higher than Nigerian counterparts – Ngige
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige revealed that some states in Nigeria are employing foreign doctors and pay them five times higher than Nigerian doctors.
The Minister disclosed this in a meeting with the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Dr Muheeba Dankaka and other federal commissioners this week.
He stated that such preferential treatment given to foreigners by some states ahead of Nigerian doctors does not encourage national unity and loyalty and urged the FCC to use its constitutional mandate to promote national unity and loyalty, rather than concentrate its efforts only on the public sector, especially in job recruitment.
What the Minister said
“The constitution did not say that you do only cases in the public sector. There are areas we need you to look into especially where the constitution is silent.
“We have cases where doctors are employed from Egypt, Cuba and Pakistan and they are paid five times what the Nigerian doctor will get if you convert the foreign exchange they use to pay them.
“But in this country, I was here when some of my teachers left from South East to go and teach in the North East at a time. They left because we had enough down there to export to our brothers. They were paid with our local currency and given some other incentives, which at the end of the day make the economy of those states to be alright,” he said.
He added if some people are poor in Nigeria in the poverty index rating, when the Nigerian poverty index is being taken, it will be an aggregate, including those places. “If it is health, when the health parameters are being taken, it is for the whole. So, FCC can go into that area,” he said, urging the FCC to persuade the state governments to open up and advertise those jobs, so that Nigerians can come whether from South-East, South-South or North-Central to fill the gap.
“Our constitution is the supreme law of the land. And any law made by anybody, whether national and state assembly that is in conflict with the constitution is void. So, you people have a strong mandate from the supreme law of the land. I think you should help us build a new country. A country where we will not be talking about hatred because it is some of these perceptions that cannot even be separated from reality that breeds all the discontent and hate speeches we see,” he said.
Earlier this month, President Muhammadu Buhari called on striking health workers in Nigeria to return to work, urging that embarking on industrial action at a time when Nigerians need them the most is not the best action to take, no matter the grievances.
The President added that the FG was supporting initiatives to expand health insurance coverage and bring more resources to health financing.
“We have many more challenges ahead and much more to do for our large population.
“In this respect, it is important to remind you that, as senior medical personnel and representatives of one of the most respected professional groups in the world, your responsibilities for the health and wellbeing of Nigerians are clear.
“It does not end only with the welfare of your members, but continues with a sense of responsibility for the entire country and its sociopolitical health and national stability,” he added.
IGP recommends suspension of DCP Abba Kyari over indictment in Hushpuppi’s fraud case
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari.
Kyari’s suspension, which was disclosed in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, follows the alleged involvement of the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), with a fraud suspect, Ramon Abbas popularly known in social circles as Hushpuppi.
According to the statement, the IGP noted that the recommendation for suspension which is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.
“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 statement said.
The IGP further directed the constitution of a 4-man Special Investigation Panel to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government and to offer recommendations for further actions on the matter.
“The Special Investigation Panel (SIP), comprising four (4) Senior Police Officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID).
“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 the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain 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.”
In case you missed it
- U.S Court documents revealed that Hushpuppi arranged to have a former business partner, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, arrested by Abba Kyari after they scammed a Qatari businessman off $1 million.
- Abba Kyari reacted to the allegation claiming that Hushpuppi’s associate was arrested after his office was called about a potential case of threat to life and that “nobody demanded for a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi.”
- See full text of the conversation between the duo as contained in the records of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
- Nigeria’s largest opposition party, the People Democratic Party (PDP) had earlier called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Inspector of General of Police to order the investigation and possible extradition of DCP Abba Kyari to the United States for his alleged involvement Hushpuppi.
Opposition party demands extradition of DCP Abba Kyari over alleged involvement with Hushpuppi
Nigeria’s largest opposition party, the People Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Inspector of General of Police to order the investigation and possible extradition of DCP Abba Kyari to the United States for his alleged involvement with fraud suspect, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
This was disclosed in a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Thursday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
What the party is saying
Ologbondiyan said that Kyari’s alleged involvement with a known fraudster compromises his integrity as the head of Nigeria’s Intelligence Response Unit.
His statement read in part:
“Our party demands that the APC administration should not sweep this matter under the carpet given the manifest rapport between Kyari and some top APC leaders.
We urge President Muhammadu Buhari not to ease out this case of corruption but should immediately restore the integrity and image of our nation by allowing for a forensic investigation on the suspect.
Moreover, if this Kyari matter is not well handled, it will be a permanent stain on the reputation of our police, security system and our nation at large.
The PDP, therefore, asks President Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police to take in Abba Kyari for questioning and if found culpable, he should be handed over to the FBI.”
What you should know
- Themoneymetrics reported earlier that U.S Court documents revealed that popular fraudster, Hushpuppi arranged to have a former business partner, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, arrested by popular Police Commissioner, Abba Kyari after they scammed a Qatari businessman of $1 million.
- Meanwhile, Abba Kyari reacted to the allegation contained in a US court affidavit claiming that Hushpuppi’s associate was arrested after his office was called about a potential case of threat to life.
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