The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended Abba Kyari from office as a deputy commissioner of police and head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Mr Kyari’s suspension is based on the recommendation of Inspector General of Police, Usma Baba. The police chief recommended the suspension as a temporary measure while the police investigate Mr Kyari’s relationship with popular fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi.
The highly decorated officer was indicted by a U.S. court as a conspirator in a $1.1 million fraudulent deal against a Qatari businessman.
The PSC in a statement released on Sunday afternoon by its spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, said Mr Kyari is relieved of all his duties pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
Mr Kyari has denied any wrongdoing.
The suspension took effect on Saturday, July 31, the day Mr Baba wrote to the commission, and will continue until the conclusion 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.
“The Commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the Commission for the Commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave,” Mr Ani said in the Sunday statement.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how the police set up a Special Investigation Panel (SIP) comprising four senior police officers to investigate Mr Kyari’s relationship with Hushpuppi.
If Hushpuppi, who has pleaded guilty to a multi-million dollar fraud, is convicted, he risks a 20 years jail term.
To be tried in the U.S. as requested by the American court, Mr Kyari would have to be extradited by Nigeria or voluntarily travel to face trial.
However, such extradition could take a lot of time and legal maneuvering in Nigeria.