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Malami: I didn’t exonerate Kyari, I only asked for further probe

Tunde Oyesina, Abuja

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) Sunday denied that he had exonerated suspended DCP Abba Kyari from fraud allegations.

Malami described as false the media reports that his office had conclusively exonerated Abba Kyari.

The denial was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Media Aide to Malami, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.

According to the statement, there appears to be misunderstanding regarding the issue.

“It was a case of work in progress in respect of which the office of the Attorney General of the Federation requested for further probe in relation to some aspects of investigation.”

According to him: “It was clear that the conclusion on the alleged contradiction on the issue was a clear case of misconception.

 “The office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice’s stance is that no conclusion has been reached in the absence of evidence relating to the first report.

“The issues were raised for further investigation with a view to cover the field in investigation in order to arrive at an informed decision.”

In July 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed how Kyari allegedly collaborated with Hushpuppi, self-confessed international fraudster, to arrest another fraudster “after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam on Qatari business people”.

On August 26, Usman Baba, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), received the report of the panel set up to probe the bribery allegations against Kyari, over his alleged relationship with Hushpuppi.

The police thereafter sent the report to Malami for legal advice.

In his advice, Malami had said there was a prima facie case of money laundering and that further investigations should be conducted into the matter.

“That there exists prima facie case of conspiracy, collaboration, receipt, conversion, transfer and/or retention of proceeds of unlawful activities contrary to the provision of sections 15, 17 & 18 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and Section 17 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, Cap E, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, against DCP Abba Kyari and other suspects in view of the overwhelming evidence showing the nature of his disguised financial transactions and activities with Abbas Hushpuppi, Efe Martins, Usman Ibrahim Waziri, Sikiru Adekoya, Hussaini Ala and Sharon Festus, who are all confirmed members of an international Internet fraud network,” Malami had said in the legal advice.

“Although the facts and circumstances of this case as contained in the case file are suggestive to money laundering offences against DCP Abba Kyari and his accomplices namely: Abbas Hushpuppi, Efe Martins, Usman Ibrahim Waziri, Sikiru Adekoya, Hussaini Ala and Sharon Festus; to successfully prosecute them, there is a need for a more thorough dissecting and tracing of the suspected 33 proceeds of crime received by DCP Abba Kyari directly or indirectly through the said accomplices.”

However, the Attorney-General’s recent advice contradicts his previous position.

According to reports, a letter issued by Mohammed Abubakar, Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, dated February 4, 2022, and addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, said there is no sufficient proof that Kyari was involved in money laundering.

 

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