The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), America’s federal police and counterintelligence agency whose investigation into the activities of suspected Nigerian internet fraudster, Ramon Abbass popularly known as ‘’Hushpuppi” and which yielded information about the involvement of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari in the case, has as its motto, ‘’Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity’’.
The motto coincides with the initials of the agency.
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The motto invites the world to notice the FBI’s record of being true to its mission of combatting federal crimes like; kidnappings, white-collar fraud and the rooting out of foreign spies and their internal collaborators, its bravery at confronting and subduing dangerous criminals like John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly and the Mafia, and its integrity in always being reliable and diligent within the law with a system and structure that promote and uphold secrecy on its operations as practicable as possible.
But beyond all that, if one needs to have as near a true view of the FBI as can be possible, then one needs to head to the FBI’s nemesis and rival, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating out of the wooded landscape of Langley in the American state of Virginia.
The dapper guys at the CIA which at any given time is made up mostly of upper class American eastern establishment types from the Ivy League, deride the ‘’Feds”, (as the FBI operatives are called) as ‘’goons in ill-fitting suits’’. Whereas the CIA types are most likely by background and training to be urbane, suave and charmingly sophisticated with a worldly outlook, the FBI operatives with their unmistakeable shoulder holsters which hardly conceal the bulge of the firearms they bear under their jackets, are likely to be by their training and operating environment, gruff and quick draw types.
The first thing that came to my mind when ‘’Hushpuppi’’ was reportedly arrested in Dubai and taken to the United States of America was to ask what interest does America has in the case. ‘’Hushpuppi’’ as far as I know is a Nigerian and he was at the time of his arrest resident in Dubai. His associates in the crime he was alleged to have committed are Nigerians. His victim in the case for which he was arrested is from Qatar a neighbouring gulf state to the United Arab Emirate (UAE) where the city of Dubai is.
I was thus curious as to why the matter was not handled by the UAE, Qatar or Nigeria all of whom ‘’Huspuppi’’ had direct links. Was this a case of outsourcing of the case to the Americans in the belief that they had better methods of investigating the issue for which ‘’Hushpuppi’’ was arrested? Or did the Americans in their usual nosey ‘’global cop’’ image of themselves arm-twist the three countries to hand over the suspect and the case?
It was in the midst of these unexplained posers, several weeks after the transfer of “Hushpuppi’’ to America, that reports hit the media that in the course of investigations by the FBI, DCP Abba Kyari was mentioned by the suspect as one of his accomplices. As further reported extensively in the media, a federal court in America had requested DCP Abba Kyari present himself to the court to clear the allegations levelled against him.
The first question to ask is does the FBI have the jurisdiction to investigate this case? By its brief, the FBI’s activities are limited by law strictly within the United States and its overseas territories. On what grounds then are the FBI holding on to ‘’hushpuppi’’ and requesting for DCP Abba Kyari to come to the states to answer charges especially on a case that has no bearing on the United States of America? And if at all there is a need for such invitation to be extended to DCP Kyari shouldn’t it be handled through diplomatic channels and not through the media? Did the FBI and the American federal court share their findings on ‘’Hushpuppi’’ and DCP Kyari with the Nigeria Police and security authorities in the course of investigations to make a compelling case for the continuing detention of “Hushpuppi’’ and the demand for Kyari to come to America?
These are the questions we should put across to the FBI which investigated the case and the American federal court which wants DCP Kyari to answer charges.
From the way the Americans have handled this case, it is clear that DCP Abba Kyari will not get the fair trial and justice he should get if he goes to America. They have already tried and found him guilty in the media and there can be no way his trial will be otherwise. The essential requirement of confidentiality and discretion in a case as sensitive as this involving a very important member of the Nigerian security and law enforcement has been compromised.
In this regard, we cannot but suspect that justice is not what the Americans want. They want to have DCP Kyari go over there so as to glean as much information and intelligence as they can on Nigerian security and law enforcement operations for which DCP Kyari is a very prominent operative.
But this is not to exonerate or prevent justice from taking its course especially regarding the alleged indiscretions of DCP Abba Kyari on this and perhaps many such cases within the Nigeria Police Service. For an officer of the law who is charged with such a very important law enforcement and security task, DCP Kyari should not by any stretch of imagination be seen to be hob-nobbing with the same characters he is supposed to go after. In this regard, many eyebrows were raised when he was seen at the well-publicised shindig of a controversial socialite recently.
What was he doing there many were moved to ask? And when the damning FBI report surfaced, it was not difficult for folks to recall this and put two and two together.
I count myself among the many Nigerians who will not support the handing over of DCP Kyari under any circumstances to America. However, the keen interest that the case has generated both locally and internationally has put the Nigeria Police on the pedestal. For some inexplicable reasons they had gone to sleep on a matter, they should have led thereby allowing a foreign police organisation to opportunistically step in to take advantage of all the implications to our national security.
It is gladdening that the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police and the Police Service Commission have taken up the challenge and instituted a thorough investigation into the case.
In the spirit of inter police cooperation, the Americans can be invited to be observers and also assist in the investigation by providing information on what they know about the case. If necessary they can also be approached to provide necessary technical support to the investigation. In this regard, the FBI may apply to deploy liaison officers to the case subject to the approval of the Nigeria Police.