A former United States of America’s Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has stated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe of suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, and the ongoing probe by the Nigeria Police Force showed some hope of police reforms under the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Campbell, who is now the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow For Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington D.C., wrote his reaction to the FBI’s probe of Kyari in relation to the police officer’s cozy relationship with serial internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi.
The former ambassador to Nigeria between 2004 and 2007, stated in an article published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), that the probe of Kyari also showed a “hopeful sign” of police reforms which Nigerians had clamoured for and which were one of the key demands of last year’s EndSARS protests.
Campbell said, “The charismatic head of the Intelligence Response team of the Nigeria Police Service, Abba Kyari, has been suspended pending the investigation of allegations by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that he was in cahoots with Ramon Abbas, better known as “Hushpuppi“ a Nigerian “Yahoo boy,” a popular Nigerian term for cyber criminals, involved in money laundering and fraud.
“Abbas allegedly paid Kyari N8 million (about $20,000) to arrest and jail a rogue member of Abbas’ criminal group; those allegations are currently being investigated by the Nigerian police. A U.S. district court issued a warrant for Kyari’s arrest, but American authorities have not requested his extradition, though much of the Nigerian media expects that they will do so.
“Whatever Nigeria’s reputation, that of the police is poor, both at home and abroad. Among Nigerians, the police are a byword for corruption—grand and petty—and harassment, especially of the poor. Anti-police sentiment boiled over late last year in protests against the notoriously brutal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)—for which Kyari formerly served as the officer-in-charge—collectively known as #EndSARS.
“The Buhari administration has promised police reform, of which there has been little evidence. However, the investigation of Abba Kyari could be a hopeful sign. It should be noted that Abba Kyari of the National Police is not to be confused with Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Buhari until his death last year from COVID-19.”