He was the poster boy of local law enforcement, the pride of a crime-fighting organization shorn of any real role models and mentors- a shining light from a nation derisively regarded as a shithole by a cranky former Chief Executive of the Free World stylishly dubbed the World’s No 1 Policeman.
Enter Abba Kyari- a real policeman now, crime fighter par excellence and Deputy Commissioner of Police in Africa’s most populous nation, a man with numerous awards and even officially recognized for his many good deeds by the very Americans he has recently fallen foul of.
He bestrode the nation’s crime scene like an oriental potentate, picking off criminals like sitting ducks, hounding crooked elements into the clanger with precision, whilst employing untoward means to ensure his upward career trajectory- blackmailing police chiefs with evidence of their own personal sleaze to get quick nudges up the ladder.
In a clime where the prototype of a typical policeman is the coarse gun-slinging, semi-literate hound with an expanding waistline- or on the other extreme, oafish and rakish tout, in a dark cloak of a faded uniform, Abba was the exact opposite
He was an urbane,suave, sophisticated and good looking policeman who bestrode crime scenes with the confident aplomb of a matinée idol and omniscient allure of a divining deity.
He was indeed, the poster boy of the anti-crime fight, with plenty of laurels under his belt- the fear of this police chief of Kanuri extraction was the beginning of wisdom for many criminals…till he began to unravel and fell from grace.
The case that began to undo him is one presently still before the courts- that of a notorious kidnapper, whose prosecution cast the first stain on the pristine career garments of Kyari up until them.
Stories began to fly around about the unprofessional conduct of his Intelligence Response Team- how they transferred monies of this kidnapper into accounts owned by cronies, how they expropriated the ill-gotten wealth of this kingpin and arrogated same to self-amongst many other gory stories of extrajudicial murders sanctioned by Kyari.
He killed for fun and let suspects play the dangerous game of Russian Roulette with themselves. Soon after the Evans rumors, others wronged by Kyari were then emboldened to come forth with their accusations, many of which he denied profusely (even here) in and on various social media handles.
His reputation went ahead of him and many of these accusations were drowned in his assumed saintliness and grandiose profusions of piety. No ome at the force HQ could investigate him anyway, as he enjoyed the goodwill of his namesake in the Villa and other mandarins in the corridors of power.
With a penchant for the sybaritic and a predilection for the sublime, the glitterati, and razzmatazz, Kyari will soon move from undercover cop to celebrity cop, dining with music stars and moviemakers, and becoming the celebrated guests of club owners and other promoters of social gatherings: caskets of Azul, Don Perignon, and high-end champagne often served as his welcome.
Indeed, it would be his association with highflyers and ballers of questionable repute that would ultimately initiate his self-destruct. At a time, he was so powerful within the force that he was not known to report to any superior police officer, not even the IGP- as he was reporting straight to the NSA. No petitiion against him could ever see the light of day, nor even the IGP could query him.
Abba Kyari, not content with being crime buster and celebrity cop also decided to turn enforcer, and loan collector for the underworld, lending his elite team of trained policemen to the enterprise of score settlement between gang members and fraudsters- an assignment he often undertook for a small fee albeit- a meager amount which could range between several hundred thousand dollars to even a million- of American tax payer’s money.
And where misappropriation of American tax payer’s money is concerned, the IRS or FBI ís not too far off and the boys from Hoover Building would soon jump on the tail of this policeman. For a security operative who thrived on sleaze and communed with the oppressors, the Deputy Commissioner lived with little or no discretion.
Kyari had by then become a self-installed apologist of vicious and enabler of recidivists. His friendship with one Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppie- a flamboyant connoisseur of the good life and patron saint of haute couture would be particularly injurious.
When the long arm of the law would catch up with this fraudster, he would tell the FBI that this Deputy Commissioner was his accomplice and indeed his fence- a receiver of stolen goods- in this case, monies.
Abba Kyari’s sins were finally beginning to catch up with him. He would be indicted in a US court and declared wanted by the FBI, his extradition, only stalled by the cooperation of the Nigerian government, his sponsors.
He was suspended and fighting for his career when we all woke up to Drug Law Agency’s stop press, telling us Kyari was also an enabler of drug operations and indeed a mule for drug barons.
We all watched him on tape, negotiate for himself, confiscating hard drugs seized from suspects for his own personal sale, and making promises to a Drug enforcement agent in his determination to pervert the course of justice.
He had operated with so much impunity for so long that he didn’t even care that he could be under surveillance by the Government or even foreign elements after his indictment.
His greed did him in, as he brashly tried to set up a compromise meet with an agent who turned the meet into a sting operation where he, Kyari was finally caught on tape abusing the privileges of his high office.
He has since been arrested and this time around, it seems he hopefully will be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to security officials who connive or worl hand in hand with criminals- the government can no longer sit idly and pretend not to know what has happened.
Government must do what is right and act swiftly. We all still remember the last official coverup for a drug dealing case involving highly placed officials- the Gloria Okon case of 1985, when the same Muhammadu Buhari was in power.
Arrested by the NSO and declared dead six days later in prison, her arrest became a happenstance that led to a sudden change of Government, a parcel bomb detonation and proscription and muscling of the free press all because the lady in question was the supposed drug mule of another military wife who would later become First Lady.
While we suspect Kyari may be protecting the personal interests of power mongers, he must now be handed over to the American Authorities to do time for abetting crimes on American soil and on completing that sentence, must then be handed back to Nigerian authorities to answer to drug dealing related charges back home.
For this brash Deputy Commissioner of Police, whose career was destined to be Nigeria’s top cop, the sun may now have set on his career all because of greed, avarice, and the quest for lucre, using his uniform.
Instead of ascending to the high and lofty heights of his career, this formerCommander, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Force Intelligence Bureau will now descend into the dark gallows of the Nigerian penitentiary system, a place where he has sent quite a multitude, on purpose or without knowing in the course of his otherwise, illustrious career.
I am sure they will all be waiting to give him a nice reception whenever he gets there.
By Bassey Udo The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA…