Nigeria: Hushpuppi - Police Suspend Abba Kyari, Begin Probe

2 August 2021

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended deputy commissioner of police and head of inspector-general's intelligence response team (IGP-IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.

This is even as the deputy-inspector general of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) DIG Joseph Egbunike has been appointed to head a special investigation panel (SIP), comprising four senior police officers, to investigate Kyari's indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.

The PSC said Kyari's suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021 and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation.

The commission has also directed the inspector-general of police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.

Spokesperson of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, said the commission's decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the IGP on yesterday was signed by Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission's chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith.

Smith, a retired inspector-general of police, is currently on leave.

Earlier yesterday, the inspector-general of police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of Kyari from the Service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations touching on him.

Force PRO, Frank Mba, who stated this, said the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, dated July 31, 2021, said the recommendation for the suspension 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 Kyari without interference.

He also said the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.

Mba noted that the SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP 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 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 IGP further reaffirmed the commitment of the Force to the Rule of Law and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.

But Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has taken a swipe on the American court for ordering for the arrest of DCP Abba Kyari, over what it described as "attempted intimidation of a police officer right inside his independent fatherland".

In a press release signed by the group's national president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the group warned that "nothing must happen to him (DCP Kyari)".

The group rejected the purported plan to arrest DCP Kyari, describing the move by the FBI as "totally unacceptable, a slap on the sensibility of our compatriots and a ridicule on one of our finest crack detectives".

The Arewa youths said they would keep tab with the happenings in the matter, stressing that there was no justification for "singling out one of Nigeria's most effective and efficient police officers for castigation".

The AYCF, in the statement, urged "all Nigerians who are truly patriotic to stand behind a man who has made an unrivalled mark on the sands of time by diligently serving his fatherland."

They called on relevant stakeholders in the country, especially civil society organizations, to Kyari who they said "risked his life in multiple operations across Nigeria, a fact proved many times through BBC news coverage of such operations.

"While we are conscious of our sovereignty as a nation, we demand justice for a man with unrivalled records of detective capabilities in the recent history of Nigeria", the AYCF stressed.

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