Where is Abba Kyari, The Celebrity Police Officer Who Was Implicated in Hushpuppi’s $1.1million Fraud?

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The way events happen in Nigeria makes it seem like Nigerians forget things quickly, but the way bigger events override the others is overwhelming. No wonder no one is asking about the whereabouts of the billionaire and celebrity police officer Abba Alhaji Kyari, a suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police.

He was arrested on February 14, 2022, after the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) accused him of affiliation with an international drug cartel.

Abba Kyari and Kidnapper Wadume in 2019
Convicted kidnapper Bala Hamisu (Wadume) and DCP Abba Kyari during the arrest of Wadume in 2019. Credit: TheGuardian

The case of Kyari wasn’t just about an issue of hunters becoming the hunted, but a case of a police officer who arrested criminals and later turned to a charged criminal. So, where is Abba Kyari?

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Once a shining light in the police

The now-suspended DCP Kyari was once the most decorated police officer in Nigeria. He wined and dined with top brass within the security outfits, and many state governments wanted him and his team posted to their states because of the way he dealt with criminals in their hideouts.

He and his team arrested the most dreaded criminal leaders in nearly all the geopolitical zones. Some of his notable arrests include notorious kidnapper Chukwudi Onwuamadike, aka Evans, and Taraba kidnap kingpin Bala Hamisu, aka Wadume.

His effort led to the sentencing of Wadume to a 7-year jail term in August 2022. Kyari team was hailed for arresting the Taraba kidnap kingpin in 2019.

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Wadume completed his jail term and was released on April 7, 2024, and received a rousing welcome from his community. Kyari, who made the arrest, is no longer in the force.

He had more than 80 high-profile arrests nationwide, earning him the title of “most decorated police officer” in Nigeria.

In April 2016, his exploits in securing Nigeria caught the attention of former President Muhammadu Buhari, who awarded him the presidential medal for courage that year.

As a police officer with many awards, the Inspectors General of Police awarded him the commendation medal for courage in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

That’s not all; he also received the Lagos State Governor’s Award for Gallantry, Leadership, and Service Excellence in three consecutive years (2011, 2012, and 2013), the Lagos State Commissioner of Police Commendation Award for Courage in 2011, and numerous other awards, including one from the Silverbird Group as hero of the year in 2018.

With all the awards, little did anyone know that he was out there making a selected arrest while other criminals he was allegedly affiliated with were having a field day.

The House of Representatives’ standing ovation

On June 11, 2020, the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (now the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu), invited Kyari to the floor, where federal lawmakers gave him a standing ovation for putting his life on the line just because he wanted to eradicate criminality in Nigeria.

At the time, he was the commander of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT)

According to Gbajabiamila, the lower chamber chose to honour Kyari’s outstanding performances in spite of the challenge facing the Nigerian Police Force.

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The Speaker who described him as a good police officer was quoted as saying, “It is not what they do all the time and for everybody but for those who have distinguished themselves in various fields of service”.

“This is also to show Nigerians that despite the not-too-good image of the Nigerian police, there are very good officers in the force,” he said.

After encomiums from very notable members of the green chamber, the police officer said he was humbled by the recognition and promised Nigerians to do more.

He said, “For the rest of my life, I will never forget this day. This is indeed the greatest award because it is coming from all Nigerians.

“This has passed a message to me and my team and other young officers and they will work hard knowing that the house of reps is watching.”

Most importantly, he called on the House to look into the funding of the NPF, “if we do have enough funding, we can do a hundred times more then what we are doing now.”

And the bubble busted

Kyari enjoyed all the attention and encomium until the bubble burst when he was implicated by Gucci King and his activities with drug lords across Nigeria.

First, on July 29, 2021, UAE-based fraudster and Gucci King Ramon Abbas, aka “Hushpuppi,” disclosed that the highly respected police officer was part of a criminal group that defrauded a Qatari school founder of $1.1 million in illicit proceeds.

An online investigative news media, Peoples Gazette, highlighted how Kyari travelled to Dubai at Hushpuppi’s invitation and was treated like a king by Hushpuppi.

Hushpuppi is currently serving an 11-year jail term in the United States for money laundering and cybercrimes.

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As if his alleged dealing with Hushpuppi wasn’t enough, the last straw that broke the camel’s back was an indictment on February 14, 2022; Kyari negotiated the release of some quantity of seized 25 kg cocaine and offered $61,400 cash.

He and his gang were arraigned by the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on charges of conspiracy, obstruction and dealing in cocaine.

The revelation of his dealings with Hushpuppi led to his suspension from the service.

Before he was suspended from service, Kyari was a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and a unit Commander of IGP-IRT, Lagos State Police Command.

From there, Kyari was transferred to serve as the Officer-In-Charge of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

His whereabouts have remained unknown since July 6, 2023, when an Abuja federal high court granted him bail in the sum of N50 million.

DCP Kyari, who enjoyed accelerated promotions in the Police Service, was born on March 17, 1975.

The outcome of an internal investigation into his alleged dealings with Hushpuppi has remained under the carpet at the time of this publication.

Where is Abba Kyari, the most celebrated police officer in Nigeria?

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