A human rights activist and Amnesty International designated Prisoner of Conscience, Omoyele Sowore has reacted to the renaming of a street after Nigeria’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari who is currently wanted for alleged fraud in the United States.
Kyari had on May 26 posted a picture on his Instagram page showing him standing beside a signpost of a street named after him in Borno.
“Thanking GOD Almighty and My State Governor for this Surprise Honor in My Home Town, Maiduguri, Borno State,” he had posted.
Reposting the picture on Friday, Sowore wrote, “Everywhere you turn in #Nigeria, a street had been named after a thief, a boulevard for a coward, an army barrack bequeathed to a murderer, an airport for a Génocidaire, a magnificent building for a judge who perverted justice…When are we toppling these statutes? #Revolutionnow.”
The United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, had issued an arrest warrant against Kyari for his alleged links to the suspected fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, who is standing trial for various offences that include internet fraud and money laundering.
Hushpuppi has since pleaded guilty to the charges and, if convicted, risks a 20-year-jail term, three-year supervision upon completion of jail term, and monetary restitution to the tune of $500,000 or more.
“The defendants allegedly faked the financing of a Qatari school by playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website in a scheme that also bribed a foreign official to keep the elaborate pretense going after the victim was tipped off,” said Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison.
“Mr. Abbas, who played a significant role in the scheme, funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists who use increasingly sophisticated means.
“In conjunction with our law enforcement partners, we will identify and prosecute perpetrators of business email compromise scams, which is a massive and growing international crime problem."
“Mr. Abbas, among the most high-profile money launderers in the world, has admitted to his significant role in perpetrating global BEC fraud, a scheme currently plaguing Americans,” said Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
The court documents also outlined a dispute among members of the Hushpuppi conspiracy, which allegedly prompted him to arrange to have an individual identified as ‘co-conspirator’ Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, jailed in Nigeria by DCP Kyari.
According to the affidavit, “Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest.
“Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.”
The Inspector-General of Police has ordered an internal review of the United States’ authorities’ allegations against Kyari.