In England in the 1700s, an individual, Jonathon Wild, worked with the authorities to apprehend the bad guys. He was very effective at his ‘job’ — arresting robbers and thieves. Unknown to the authorities, he was on both sides.
He ran with the hare and hunted with the hound. He had his gang of robbers. During weekends, Jonathon, with his gang, would steal from banks. He did a perfect job of playing both sides for 7 years before the long arm, rather, the close-arm of the law caught up with him and he was hanged.
Nigeria’s own version of Jonathon Wild is Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, who tracked and arrested the notorious kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadik also known as Evans. The ‘Super Cop’ is currently a person of interest in the ongoing trial of socialite, Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) in the United States.
Hushpuppi is facing 20 years imprisonment for impersonation, scamming, bank fraud, and identity theft — or as it is called in local parlance — Yahoo Yahoo.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Hushpuppi narrated how he used his influence with the embattled police officer to arrest, oppress and jail his co-fraudster in Nigeria, Chibuzor Vincent, over a $1.1 million scam. This was after Vincent decided to play a fast one on Hushpuppi by alerting the Qatari businessman that he was being scammed.
The damning document, one the officer cannot explain away, further revealed how Abba Kyari, through his team member, got rewarded for their treatment of Vincent that resulted in him (Vincent) being infected with rashes in jail. Abba Kyari played judge and jury at the behest of an international scammer. However, in a lame excuse typical of a man caught with his pants down, Abbi Kyari denied such.
The implication of this revelation is however lost on the casual observer whose judgement has been clouded by sentiments and the good work that will suddenly be ‘undone’ by the allegations. For one, this has brought to the fore the level of systematic corruption in the Nigerian Police Force — not that it ever went away.
Beyond that, the damage in the international community that a high-ranking police officer, touted as one of the best in the country, is in bed with Hushpuppi, is beyond imagination.
How did we get here, we ask? The answer is that we have always been here but covered it perfectly. Abba Kyari’s team, the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), went rogue a long time ago but who will point that out.
In 2019, his name popped up in 2019 when he took over the assets of a suspected kidnapper killed by the police, Collins Ezenwa. Amnesty International and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) accused him of illegal expropriation of suspected proceeds of crime. Those unfortunate to have cases with his team were milked to the last penny but they still count themselves lucky — surviving the feared Abba Kyari. The rot is so much that his boys drive exotic cars that beg the question, do they have another job aside from policing?
While not taking anything away from his stellar achievements as a police officer, further digging will reveal more dirt and shady deals typical of the Nigerian Police officer. Another ugly truth his entanglement with Hushpuppi has revealed is that anybody with money and the right connection can punish anybody in Nigeria. Many Nigerians are in jail now because someone didn’t like their faces and they have a willing tool in the police to give them the Vincent treatment.
Now that he has been unceremoniously removed as the head of the IRT and replaced with DCP Tunji Disu, it is hoped that a thorough investigation will be carried out and his Jonathon Wild side will be fully exposed. If he is innocent as he claims, a visit to the United States is another option available to him to clear his name.
The mockery in all this is that the hunter will forever remain the hunted and knowing how he treats his victims, stepping outside the shores of the country will be the last thing on his mind.
Written By Segun Akinleye