The tale of Abba Kyari, the Deputy Commissioner of Police and former head of the Nigerian Police Intelligence Response Team, encapsulates the fate of all men who succumb to hubris, a character flaw that has inspired tragedies from Sophocles to Shakespeare. Every tragic hero or anti-hero quickly develops delusions of grandeur, only to be confronted by an unexpected nemesis. In Greek mythology, Oedipus solved the Sphinx’s riddle, but fate had other plans for him, and he ended up killing his father and marrying his own mother. Medea, a woman consumed by jealousy and pride, murdered her own children to prove a point – one of the first feminist figures in Greek mythology. Agamemnon was the King of Argos and the Greek army’s commander, but he was immature, foolish, and emotional.
This was the final straw for him. He was a fantastic warrior, but he was also rash. In Ancient Rome, Coriolanus, the Roman General, could not become Consul. After being exiled, he waged war as a form of vengeance. He led an attack on Rome, consumed by passion and vengeance. He died as a result of his actions. Julius Caesar was one of ancient Rome’s most decorated leaders, but he became a dictator, inspiring envy and plotting among his own associates.
These examples are drawn from classical literature and mythology, as well as Shakespearean tropes, and they illustrate a key aspect of human experience and cultural identity: how glory does not guarantee a happy ending, how man must confront the mystery of suffering in order to learn, and how happiness is culturally relative. Modern fictive and interpretive representations have also demonstrated that tragedy befalls not only great and well-placed individuals, but that all men are flawed, and that many have fallen due to hubris, not necessarily fate, but erroneous judgement, pride, or poor decisions. Managing one’s temptations may be the best defence, but what is life if not the rising and falling of time’s tides? Life ends as a comedy for many, but for others, it is a tragedy.
DCP Abba Kyari is in the midst of a tragic event in his career as a cop. Like all tragic tales, he would elicit sympathy from friends, fear from coworkers who might believe they, too, might suffer the same fate, and empathy from a few. However, the majority of people should learn from his mistakes. He was, without a doubt, the most well-respected police officer of his time. He was dubbed “Super Cop” by his peers. He was the head of the Police Intelligence Unit and was well-known for his abilities.
He was also a well-known cop. He was given special recognition by Nigeria’s House of Representatives on one occasion. In Nigeria, not many police officers have had the opportunity to do so. No one would have been surprised if the super cop ended up as Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, given his career trajectory. But that’s all over now. Whether or not Kyari is extradited to stand trial in a US District Court, the white garment of honour he once wore has been tainted, soiled, and splattered with palm oil. Even if he is found not guilty of all charges, the fact that he was implicated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in a conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and abet criminal behaviour is bad enough. This officer, who was once the target of saccharine panegyrics, is now the target of internet memes. Those dressed in immaculate white attire should avoid palm oil retailers. Kyari’s case revolves around his failure to do so.
His arch-enemy is a man named Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka Ray Hushpuppi, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for his involvement in high-tech organised crime. Hushpuppi has been singing like a canary and yelping like a puppy since being apprehended by the FBI in June 2020. He named Abba Kyari as one of his allies, a powerful Nigerian police officer who assisted him, Hushpuppi, in arresting one of his gang members with whom he had a deal dispute. The FBI provided copious and embarrassing details of conversations between Hushpuppi and the senior police officer in a deposition that was unsealed in court on July 26. Kyari allegedly sent a bank account number to which money was transferred to pay for the services rendered by “the team.” What kind of service are you offering? Abba Kyari’s team arrested and detained Kelly Vincent Chibuzor for more than a month. Even after it was discovered that Hushpuppi’s allegation against Chibuzor was false, there was no evidence that the Super Cop took any action to have Hushpuppi sanctioned for misleading the police and wasting the Nigerian State’s time and resources. According to the FBI document, Super Cop Kyari even paid a special visit to Hushpuppi in Dubai. Since these details have been made public, Kyari’s strongest defence has been that he is completely innocent and that his only connection to Hushpuppi is that he assisted him in sewing some native wears. How did the head of Nigeria’s Police Intelligence Response Unit end up as a tailor and fashion consultant for a man of international security interest who, by the way, flaunted obscene wealth on social media pages? Certain associations are detrimental to one’s brand. Hushpuppi’s association with him in any form was bad for the senior cop. Hushpuppi is well aware that he is in trouble. He has no qualms about dragging police officer Aba Kyari along with him, just as he did when he used the Nigerian Police to “discipline” one of his gang members. The FBI released more information yesterday, confirming that Kyari received N8 million in the hire-a-senior-cop case.
Regardless of what anyone says, this is not good for the country’s image. Normally, Nigeria is associated with a large number of potential or actual fraudsters, despite the fact that the country has produced some of the most brilliant and accomplished people in all fields of human endeavour. Only a few foreigners are willing to give us the benefit of the doubt. What happened to DCP Kyari is also damaging to the Nigerian police force’s image. Even before the #EndSARS protests in October 2020, the average Nigerian police officer was routinely chastised for bribe collecting, brutality, and human rights violations. As a result, Kyari may find that there aren’t many people willing to sympathise with him. Since the FBI incident, there have been comments made not only about Kyari, but also about the Nigerian Police Force: how, it is claimed, Nigerian cops collude with criminals, extort money, and how anyone can hire a cop to violate other people’s rights. Those who have a grudge against DCP Kyari have been smearing him on social media, adding salt to his wounds. Many people will kick a man where it hurts the most when he is down in life. Kyari must be perplexed as to what is going on with him. Every tragic hero goes through anagnorisis and catharsis at some point. However, a tragedy does not always end in a comedy.
A warrant for DCP Kyari’s arrest has been issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of California. However, it is not as simple as that. Nigeria is a self-governing country. A US court cannot simply order the arrest of a Nigerian living in Nigeria and expect Nigeria, as a sovereign state, to simply hand over the individual. Rules and due process govern the relationship between sovereigns. The Inspector General of Police has ordered a four-man committee to investigate the allegations because of the gravity of the allegations and the media attention the case has received. Abba Kyari has been suspended by the Police Service Commission, which is in charge of police appointments, promotions, and discipline. That’s all right. A thorough and transparent investigation is required. Nigeria has every reason to treat this situation with the seriousness it warrants. Kyari allegedly committed the alleged crime while serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team. Is it true that he abused his position? As a law enforcement officer, did he conspire to commit wire fraud? Who are the members of the “Team” mentioned in the FBI document? Whose bank account did Hushpuppi deposit the N8 million? Is it possible that Kyari and his team broke the Police Code of Conduct, particularly Principles Six and Seven, which deal with integrity and conflict of interest? What can the police learn from this in terms of internal oversight processes and how officers conduct themselves in the community? Those are good questions to ask if the Nigerian police force needs to be reformed. There should be no attempt to hide anything. If DCP Kyari is found guilty, he should be punished and extradited to the United States in accordance with extradition procedures. DCP Kyari’s lawyers should be on standby. Everything he stands for is on the line.
However, I find it utterly repulsive that there has been a futile attempt to read ethnic and political meanings into Kyari’s woes. The FBI’s plan to arrest Kyari is “totally unacceptable,” according to the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), which also stated that “nothing must happen to him.” Because the FBI’s proposed arrest is “an attempted intimidation of a police officer right inside his independent fatherland,” the AYCF added, “all Nigerians who are truly patriotic should stand behind a man who has made an unrivalled mark on the sands of time by diligently serving his fatherland.” Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the AYCF President, is credited with the statement. It’s shocking to hear such nonsense from anyone! If that isn’t enough to make you laugh, consider the Nigerian Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association’s intervention (MACBAN). The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is accused by MACBAN of folding its hands and failing to defend “sons of the North who have distinguished themselves in different fields (and) are constantly being persecuted and maligned at the height of their careers,” and the US FBI of colluding with some leaders in Southern Nigeria to indict police officer Abba Kyari. “The United States is the most dishonest country in the world,” said Dr. Garus Gololo, speaking on behalf of MACBAN. They did the same thing to Al Gore as they are doing to Kyari. Allow him to stand firm and defend himself because he is the future Inspector General of Police of Nigeria, and he must not be shaken.”
Dr. Garus Galolo’s rambling on a subject about which he has no knowledge is ridiculous. He should be quiet. In the Kyari case, ethnicity isn’t a major factor. It makes no difference to the FBI whether he is from the North or the South. The NEF’s leaders appear to be more discerning, which explains why they have remained silent and vigilant. Dr. Galolo could be accused of attempting to incite cattle breeders to oppose the United States and the NEF. His claims must be investigated by security agencies. What does Kyari’s plight have to do with cattle farming? The AYCF should also be aware that the FBI is uninterested in the dangerous ethnicity games that we play in Nigeria. Kyari is not a representative of the North. He is a police officer who has been charged with rogue behaviour. What about the claim that some Southern leaders colluded with the FBI?
If it’s any consolation, the names mentioned in the Hushpuppi/Kyari case did have a semblance of Federal Character and diversity. The names of Ramon Olorunwa Abbas (Nigerian/Yoruba), Abdulrahman Imran Juma (Kenyan), Vincent Kelly Chibuzo (Nigerian/probably Igbo), Abba Alhaji Kyari (Nigerian/ Kanuri), Rukayat Motunrayo Fashola (Nigerian/Yoruba), and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka (Nigerian/Yoruba) are mentioned in With numerous references to phone numbers, conversations, newspaper articles, and account numbers, the investigator identifies Abba Kyari and establishes his connection with Hushpuppi in paragraphs 23 -30. So, where is the FBI’s collusion in mocking a “Northern star”? That is, however, Nigeria. With everything, we play politics. We reduce everything to ethnic identity rather than focusing on key issues. We must understand that when people conspire to do wrong things, they do so regardless of their ethnic origins. They are bound together by a common goal that transcends ethnicity and religion. A Ramon is caught in the same web as a Vincent, Rukayat, and Tawakalitu in this case. They are brought together by a common goal.
This warning is also directed at the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Over the Kyari matter, the party’s spokesperson has launched an attack on the Buhari administration. Is it necessary to politicise everything? No. It is sufficient to state unequivocally that nothing should be swept under the rug and that due process must be followed to the letter. This is not a Buhari-related issue. Kyari is required to respond to his father’s name.
There are more lessons to be learned. The US FBI’s diligence and professionalism can teach the Nigerian police a lot. The depositions were taken to court for the first time in February, then again in April, with the contents being unsealed only in July. Nothing got out. The document did not mysteriously vanish from its storage location. There was no reported case of arson that resulted in the loss of important evidence. The FBI listened in on long-distance conversations and gathered evidence. Young Nigerians who are attracted to indecent displays of wealth should recall the stories of Hushpuppi, Invictus, and other characters like them and see a glimpse of their own future doom. Many young Nigerians wanted to be like Hushpuppi because he was so popular on Instagram. He displayed exotic cars and wore Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Versace. He’s in a lonely place right now. He’s so despondent. He’s singing and sinking at the same time. Then let the law take its course. DCP Kyari has reportedly been replaced as Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team by DCP Tunji Disu. That’s how life is.
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