Hushpuppi Saga: Disqualify Austin Braimoh from probe of DCP Abba Kyari, HURIWA tells PSC •Warns against sweeping case under the carpet

Posted by News Express | 2 August 2021 | 606 times

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•Hushpuppi and suspended DCP Abba Kyari


Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has warned of the adverse consequences of sweeping under the carpets the case involving Deputy Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abba Kyari, following his indictment by the United States Court over his links to the notorious advance fees fraud suspect Hushpuppi.

This is even as it applauded the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Usman Baba, for directing the immediate suspension from police duties of the embattled super cop.

“HURIWA warns the Federal Government to stop bringing international opprobrium on the Nigerian State. We mustn't behave like a pariah state by failing to cooperate or partner with the United States of America in this and many other matters. We warn that this Abba Kyari’s matter is purely a diplomatic matter and not a matter that should be looked upon with the binoculars of Ethnic and religious prisms. It’s our international image as Nigerians that is at the risk of being bastardized should President Muhammadu Buhari not follow the international law in handling this matter instead of looking at it from an Arewa or Islamic point of view.”

Besides, the rights group asked the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Musiliu Smith, to exempt and disqualify forthwith a Commissioner in the Commission, Mr. Austin Braimoh, from sitting on any investigation over Kyari because the said official of the PSC has openly sided with the embattled cop, adding that his presence in any investigation of the same matter will automatically nullify the impartiality and the objectivity of such a probe.

According to a court document released by the United States Department of Justice on Wednesday, titled: ‘Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds’, Kyari was alleged to have been bribed to arrest one Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, 40, in Nigeria, who created bogus documents and arranged for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line to support the defrauding of a business person trying to provide $1.1m for.

The indicted officer Alhaji Abba Kyari has already denied the allegations, stating that he did not demand any money from Hushpuppi. He however admitted acting as a go between the fraudster and a local tailor in which Hushpuppi allegedly made payments.

HURIWA carpeted Mr. Austin Braimoh for displaying open and crude partiality in the matter when he said the PSC would not be bound by the IG’s review of the allegations against Kyari, noting the Commission has no position on the allegation for now. He added that a formal report must come from the appropriate quarters to the Commissioner before anything is done. He said the Attorney General and Minister of Justice need to guide the nation on what to do on the matter.

HURIWA said Mr. Braimoh has already expressed his mindset which is biased in favour of the indicted so-called ‘super cop’ Alhaji Abba Kyari when he said: “We heard that a United States Court either indicted or ordered his arrest.”

HURIWA blasted the said Commissioner of the Police Service Commission for ridiculously saying that "it sounds strange to me that a US Court could order the arrest of a noncitizen, a Nigerian citizen resident in Nigeria. Nigeria is a sovereign nation with its laws and justice systems. We surely must be guided by our own Attorney General.

“[We should] also guided by our own courts, internal investigations and to trust our justice system. I’m not aware of any petition against the said officer before the police Service Commission. If the IGP has one, we believe that he will do justice to it and forward to us for necessary action at the appropriate stage.”

HURIWA said it is unbelievable that a supposed commissioner of a supposed independent and an impartial Police Service Commission which the Nigerian Constitution clearly guarantees operational independence could be heard saying that the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mallam Abubakar Malami will direct the Police Service Commission on how to respond to allegations made against a serving police officer who is under its supervision and not the office of the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The rights group regretted that the current governing board of the PSC has increasingly sacrificed its independence and impartiality on the platter of parochial and mundane pursuits.

It therefore requested that Mr. Austin Braimoh be recused from sitting on any panel of the Police Service Commission that may be constituted to adjudicate over the serious indictment slammed on the Deputy Commissioner of Police Alhaji Abba Kyari.

HURIWA said her position is based on the fact that  the said Mr Austin Braimoh has clearly sided with Abba Kyari when he ignorantly stated that the USA lacked the jurisdiction to order the extradition of another citizen wanted in relation to a crime of the magnitude that has to do with Internet fraud.

HURIWA said also: “Is Mr. Braimoh not abreast of the fact that no nation is an island but all nations coexist and enter into all sorts of exchanges and treaties on a number of issues including exchange of suspects and their extradition to the requesting country? Is Mr. Braimoh not aware that there is what is called the International Policing institution or INTERPOL?

“So. why should a highly placed official of the Nigerian administration be seen exhibiting such a huge body of ignorance on such a matter as notorious as Nations making requests for extradition of wanted fugitives?”

HURIWA said the decision of the IGP to suspend the indicted Abba Kyari from the Police duty was the right thing under the circumstances and wondered why Abba Kyari did not on his own request for a temporary withdrawal from duty as a police officer so he face the indictment by the USA’s Court system and the FBI arrest warrant squarely and if he is found not wanting then he could return to his duty post but in the notorious habit of most Nigerians who hold public office, Abba Kyari stayed put in the police whilst these heavy indictments are hanging on his neck like a Sword of Damocles. 

“The global image fiasco brought upon Nigeria by these indictments on Abba Kyari can only abate if the police hierarchy and the PSC handle the matter with transparency, accountability and openness. Abba Kyari must not be permitted to contaminate the investigative mechanisms by staying on as a serving police officer. His immediate suspension pending the outcomes of the investigation and the matter before the Court in the USA is the best thing and we and the organized human rights community commend the IGP for this prompt and decisive steps and we urge him not to be a party to any underground plots to grant Abba Kyari Nigerian government's soft-landing because of his ethnicity or religious affiliation,” HURIWA stated.

Source: News Express

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