By Emeka Ugwuonye
The criminal indictment of Nigeria’s most decorated police officer is the best thing to happen to Nigerians and the worst thing to happen to The Nigeria Police Force!
Nothing could have saved Nigeria from The Nigeria Police without some external involvement, especially by the most powerful nation on earth.
In that respect, the indictment of Deputy Police Commissioner Abba Kyari in the United States comes as a divine intervention.
Victims of The Nigeria Police are totally powerless to seek a meaningful redress within Nigeria.
This is because The Nigerian Police controls everything and every stage in the criminal justice system.
They run private prisons where they detain thousands secretly for years outside the rule of law.
They run their own court system where they try and condemn suspects, and even carry out executions of those they condemn, all outside the purview of the constitution.
To find oneself against even a moderately powerful Nigeria police officer is to find oneself against the gods.
They control everything – they control what the press reports about you.
They control the judiciary in many subtle ways. They intimidate lawyers. They control the witnesses. They control the evidence.
You are dead and finished if anyone of them has been paid highly enough to get you out of the way.
There is no major crime pattern in Nigeria without it being engineered and directed by The Police.
Kidnapping could not abate because there is a way for the police to reap from the ransoms.
And as has been illustrated in this US case against the most decorated and most celebrated Nigerian police officer, the spate of international scam, internet fraud and money laundering could not have been possible without the involvement or permissive dispositions of Nigerian police officers.
Abba Kyari, the Super Cop?
As the then head of SARS in Lagos and until now the head of the IRT, Abba Kyari sat at the peak of the worst of the Nigerian police system.
He is the worst of the worst, but covered in a robe, silk and velvet. And as evidence of the incurable decadence of the Nigerian police, he is packaged as “the best” of them. He even controlled his own rise in the force. He was untouchable. He played God.
By the way, IRT stands for Intelligence Response Team, an oxymoron used to cover the false truth about law enforcement in Nigeria. As head of SARS Lagos, he had the unfettered power of life and death over anyone.
According to the few reports that dared come out against him, he traded on that power to a level never seen before.
As the head of IRT, he elevated his game by running a monopoly of police violence. He became too powerful on the national scale.
Abba Kyari is the biggest showman Nigerian police have ever seen. He played the press and became a master in publicity. Just to give one example. Recall the case of Hamisu Bala, known also as Wadume.
In that case, police officers working under Kyari had an encounter with some soldiers that led to the soldiers killing three of the police officers.
Recall the official narrative pushed by Abba Kyari, which told the nation that Wadume was a kidnapping kingpin that had soldiers in his payroll, and that those soldiers killed the police to free Wadume.
What Nigerians did not know was that after a joint police-military investigation, those soldiers were found to have performed their work well.
It was Abba Kyari’s boys that were at fault when they went in mufti in an unmarked vehicle and kidnapped a man exactly like kidnappers, and refused to stop when soldiers on alert tried on multiple occasions to stop them.
Also, there was never any kidnapping offense involving Wadume.
The proof of that is in the fact, that in the end, the only charge the police could file against Wadume and all those arrested in his case was unlawful possession of firearms.
Wadume’s case is pending now before Justice Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Anyone can confirm the charge Wadume is standing trial for.
So, it meant that Abba Kyari alone could declare a person a kidnapper and Nigerians would believe it.
Thank God the involvement of soldiers in that case prevented the extrajudicial execution of Wadume in police custody.
Nothing pleases man more than to witness the defeat of a false god. Do not mistake the feelings of Nigerians, as they watch Abba Kyari go down.
If Abba Kyari loses the ability to control the public narrative of his activities, the truth that will come out will shake the already numbed nation to its foundation.
The impact of Abba Kyari indictment on The Nigeria Police
Now, let us assess the impact of Abba Kyari’s indictment on The Nigeria Police. The impact will come as a part of the process of the US Justice Department.
To develop the case against Hushpuppi, the US District Attorney for the Central District of California understood that the massive money laundering scheme presided over by Hushpuppi would not be possible without someone powerful in the law enforcement being involved and providing protection to Hushpuppi.
The logic was clear. If every official that Hushpuppi came across had enforced the law, Hushpuppi would not be so successful in his criminal enterprise. So, to solve the crime, you have to locate the state actor who has been aiding and abetting the criminal enterprise.
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When Hushpuppi was identified, the US Justice Department was interested in unmasking that state actor, probably in Nigeria or Dubai.
The speed with which the officials of UAE cooperated in extraditing Hushpuppi to the US without an extradition hearing in UAE was enough to show the Americans that the official aider and abetter was not in Dubai, must be in Nigeria.
How significant is the role of a state actor in an organized criminal activity of the nature at hand?
Very significant indeed! It takes state actors to help the criminals in maintaining order among themselves and settling scores among themselves without anyone member of the gang breaking out to report to authority.
Hushpuppi needed Abba Kyari to keep his crime partner, Vincent Chibuzor, under control and to send a message to others in the gang who might try to double-cross him in the future.
So, Abba Kyari can be said to have played the role of the stabilizer, a coordinator of the gang. He stopped the gang from falling apart.
Hushpuppi knew that he could use Abba Kyari to deal with any obstacle in his path. The US Disrtict Attorney knew this and was determined to expose it.
In fact, according to the affidavit by the FBI agent, Abba Kyari used unlawful detention of Chibuzor to facilitate the defrauding of the victim. That makes Abba Kyari an active participant in the fraud.
Also, the position of the US Justice Department, further buttressed by the plea agreement by Hushpuppi, is that part of the proceeds of that fraud was paid to Abba Kyari. These are significant claims that have gone partially beyond mere allegation.
When this story broke out in the press, Abba Kyari made the worst mistake of his life by trying to deflect the story with his personal rebuttal on his Facebook profile. In that purported rebuttal, he committed something akin to a suicide.
He admitted that he knew that Hushpuppi filed a false police report against Vincent Chibuzor over a very serious allegation. He admitted that despite being aware of that, he went ahead to befriend Hushpuppi and associate with him at personal level. That was suicidal.
It was shocking that a supposedly intelligent police officer would be so naïve and so desperate to offer such as his explanation and defence.
Indeed, Abba Kyari ought to have known that what happened was actually a confession. He clearly underestimated the FBI and the Justice Department.
To be continued on Monday
Emeka Ugwuonye, Esq, is president, Eculaw Group, Founder and CEO, DPA
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