On July 29th 2021, US law enforcement declared the “super cop” Abba Kyari wanted over his alleged links with internet fraudster and former biggest boy, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi. The two were allegedly involved in a scheme to launder over $1.1million from defrauding a Qatari School founder. The Deputy Commissioner of Police denied the allegations, stating that his only financial transactions with Hushpuppi were payments for native attires sold to the self-acclaimed billionaire. In a country where monkeys and snakes eat money, it is a small thing to imagine a highly-decorated police officer serving as a tailor and delivery man for a civilian.
Despite Abba Kyari’s claims of innocence, the Inspector General of Police announced his suspension from duty on August 1st 2021, pending investigation of his involvement with Hushpuppi. News of the suspended police officer resurfaced just recently after video footage was released by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency of him allegedly carrying out a drug deal. He has since been declared wanted by the NDLEA and arrested by the police with some of his alleged accomplices.
Many have concluded that these allegations show that Abba Kyari is as crooked as all the leaders whose names we already know. Others believe that this recent case is a ploy by the big names to forestall and ultimately terminate any chances of Abba Kyari’s extradition to the USA to answer for his alleged crimes committed in cahoots with Hushpuppi. The latter speculation does not seem too far-fetched, seeing as Nigeria has always been a country that protects the rich and powerful and ensures that they go unpunished for their crimes. One can only expect that Abba Kyari will get a slap on the wrist and be a free man in a short while.
When a man walks in the same shoes for long enough, he will be known by the footprints he leaves behind. For this reason, it is paramount that the Nigerian government reexamines and probes deeper into all the cases that Abba Kyari has handled. The authorities need to ensure that all those incarcerated or freed by testimonies or proof that Abba Kyari provided were duly served justice. Every word he has ever uttered in the authority of his office, every deal he has signed or presided over and every passive verdict he has passed must be revisited and looked through. We are slowly getting rid of the culture of silence inherited from our fathers, but for this rebirth to be complete, we must insist that deeply ingrained corruption such as these be brought to book.
Let us not forget that we watched our fellow citizens die at the hands of the law because they protested the unjust treatment received from those who took oaths to protect them. Sars officers led by Abba Kyari, who continuously turned a blind eye to their misconduct and indirectly made them into the menace they became and still are.
There needs to be an end to the government employing law enforcement personnel who come from a place where the concept of merit is non-existent, where people are given platforms of power for no other reason than the fact that they speak the same language as the country’s leader. The leadership of southern Nigeria- especially in delicate areas like law enforcement- needs to be in the hands of qualified individuals who are adequately qualified and who possess an in-depth understanding of the demographic.