Every bit of the allegation of involvement in a fraud against the Deputy Commissioner of Police [DCP] Abba Kyari and for which a notorious Nigerian scammer Abbas Ramon Hushpuppy is also being tried by an American court is getting the right kind and quantity of attention it deserves. The request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] for the extradition of Kyari to America to face justice has already generated spontaneous reactions with a lot of questions on the various aspects of the case and some other issues that relate to it being freely asked.
Kyari, by a very popular judgement, was and is perhaps still one of Nigeria’s finest police officers whose conduct and achievements are spectacular enough to make him an outstanding law enforcer. Many people found it hard to believe that the DCP is a product of the Nigeria Police Force [NPF] to which a lot of rot is associated, especially considering his capacity for the display of utmost courage as a result of which he broke several records in some critical areas of the police operations.
While Kyari is, even with the current challenge, such a dedicated cop, Hushpuppy is there in his own world of criminals as a very notorious one. The revelations about his activities that followed his arrest in Dubai last year have already shown that he is such a skilled scammer who has perfected multiple strategies for the creation and sustenance of relationships with the wealthy and powerful personalities, most of whom he duped.
It is, in fact, on the basis of the natural irreconcilable differences between Kyari as a law enforcer and Hushpuppy as a law breaker that the allegation of some kind of fraternity or even conspiracy between the two of them has become a matter of grave concern. Some forms of the interaction which, even by Kyari’s submission, existed between them exposed him as, at best, a careless officer and, at worst, a greedy cop. Why should a high-ranking police officer like him have any other kind of business with a criminal than the one allowed by the law?
There are even some other little observations that are now being expressed which have substantially re-enforced the case against him. The perception that the DCP is easily given to ostentation which is a basic tendency that can push even the most dutiful public officers towards corruption is very dominant. Why should he be so materially and socially flamboyant in total disregard of the demands of his job?
The FBI, which is now pushing for the arraignment of Kyari in America alongside Hushpuppy on the basis of the information it obtained from the latter and other sources, is behaving in a manner that creates discomfort in a lot of quarters. America’s self-appointment as the police of the world and the resultant arrogation to itself the right to define and categorize offences as well as label and punish culprits even when it continuously safeguards its territories and citizens is an issue that still provokes many minds. Why should America continue to subject other countries and their respective citizens to this kind of treatment?
Perhaps, one particular aspect of the response of the Police Service Commission [PSC] to the FBI’s demand for the extradition of Kyari that is quite fundamental and which has significantly increased the apprehension over the America’s intention is the emphasis on the sanctity of Nigeria’s sovereignty. By insisting that the approach of FBI seeks to undermine the independence of the country, the PSC has really appealed to the patriotic instinct of the citizens. Why should Nigeria hand over its citizen to a foreign power over an alleged offence even when it has all the instruments required for his prosecution in the country?
Both the immediate establishment of Special Investigation Panel [SIP] by the Inspector General of Police and the subsequent suspension of Kyari by the PSC which came along with his removal as the Commander of the Intelligence Response Team are practical expressions of resolve on the part of the police authorities to decisively deal with the matter. They are, in fact, actions that should give the FBI and, more importantly, Nigerians the hope that the truth will be eventually known and appropriate actions taken. Why should, therefore, be any fear that the matter will either be downplayed or manipulated?
The Kyari’s case is only the freshest as similar woes befell, for example, the former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun and the two former Chairmen of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu and Ibrahim Magu. They all had a glorious reign before they almost suddenly became victims of, depending on how one looks at it, either their own actions or machinations of their traducers. But why do such fine officers or some of them end this way?
If personal shortcomings are a factor in the downfall of particularly police officers, the lapses in the mode of operations of the Police Force are not less so. There appears to be a failure to strengthen the necessary internal mechanisms for the effective monitoring of the conduct of police personnel especially those saddled with sensitive responsibilities, thereby rendering them vulnerable to temptations and the evil plans of criminals. Why should the police officers and, by extension, all public officers be left so unguided and unguarded?
Certainly, the Kyari-Hushpuppy corruption case is both a pointer to the extreme rot in the policing system and a justification for more persistent calls for the genuine reform of the Police and the judiciary. As more facts about this scandal continue to emerge, the government should consider as most necessary the review of its strategies for the fight against corruption which is fully expected to lead to the quick repositioning of the security and law enforcement agencies as well as the judicial institutions in Nigeria. Why not?