For years, not much was known about the love life of Ramon Abbas, the Nigerian Instagram celebrity accused of fraud.
Popularly called Hushpuppi, Mr Abbas was arrested for wire fraud in Dubai in June and extradited to the U.S. on July 3.
Before his arrest, the 37-year-old was resident in Dubai and known for flaunting extravagant lifestyles on his Instagram page but never for once, did he reveal the women in his life.
Although he has been romantically linked with some Nigerian celebrities and Instagram socialites in the past, he never publicly identified with them; at least not on his verified Instagram handle which boasts 2.5 million followers.
His Instagram page was a mini catalog dedicated to showing off his cars, clothes, shoes, and jet-set lifestyle. It screamed luxury and nothing more.
As part of his ongoing celebrated trial, Hushpuppi has revealed that he has three children from three different women. He said two of the children live in London and the third lives in New York City.
He told Pretrial Services that he has had an on-again/off-again relationship with the last child’s mother for the last five years.
Pretrial Services Programs are procedures in the U.S. to prepare cases for trial in court.
Pretrial services said the woman’s uncle lives in the Chicago area where he works as a Uber driver. He offered to be a third-party custodian for Abbas and would allow Abbas to live with him.
They added that there is no indication that Abbas knows or ever has met the man as Abbas has never been to Chicago. Pretrial Services did not recommend this residential placement and the court agreed.
The United States Court sitting in Illinois listed the information above as one of the five major reasons for Hushpuppi’s continued detention.
St. Kitts and Nevis
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis issued a statement concerning Hushpuppi’s citizenship status on its official website on July 6.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis said it became aware of reports and rumours concerning Hushpuppi’s Federation’s citizenship.
It read, “We note that the Nigeria-born Mr. Abbas, 37, was granted a St. Kitts and Nevis passport in February 2020 by virtue of his marriage to Shawana Nakesia Chapman, 32, a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis by birth and the United States of America.
“Ms. Chapman, a resident of North Carolina, USA, married Mr. Abbas in Nigeria in October 2018, thereby conferring him with the right to St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship”.
They also added that any suggestion that the citizenship was obtained through means other than marriage – such as the country’s Citizenship by Investment program, which includes rigorous background checks – is therefore utterly false and willfully misleading.
In a comprehensive report on the detention hearing, the court gave some reasons for the refusal to grant his bail.
The report released on Monday was based on the recommendations of the Pretrial services, which provides the court with quality information about the defendants.
The court concluded that the defendant must be detained pending trial because the government has proven that no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance as required.
“The court agreed with the recommendation of Pretrial Services that Mr Abbas presents a risk of non-appearance and that he should be removed to the charging district in California in custody.”
In addition to the findings made on the record at the hearing, the court cited five major factors for the detention.
The factors include the fact that Mr Abbas is subject to a lengthy period of incarceration if convicted, lacks significant community or family ties to the district, has significant family or other ties outside the United States, lacks legal status in the country and will be subjected to removal or deportation for serving any period of incarceration.
The Order says, “The court agrees with the recommendation of Pretrial Services that Mr Abbas presents a serious risk of nonappearance and that he should be removed to the charging district in California in custody. In addition, the Court finds Abbas presents a serious risk of flight to avoid this prosecution with the meaning of 18 USC 3142(f)(2). The Court stated the reasons for its ruling on the record during the removal hearing held on July 13, 2020. The additional notes contained in this Order are consistent with the reasons stated on the record and are intended to supplement rather than supplant those statements.
“Abbas is not a United States citizen and has no significant ties to the United States. If he is convicted of the charges, he faces deportation once he serves any custodial sentence that might be imposed. If the allegations in the complaint are true, Abbas has sufficient assets to fund a flight to anywhere in the world, and he has ties to many foreign countries.
“Abbas reportedly rents an apartment in Dubai for $10,000 a month and drives a Bentley. He is alleged to have committed financial crimes that netted tens of millions of dollars or more.
He might spend the next twenty years in prison if convicted of the crime.”