Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari has narrated what transpired between him and alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
In a post on his verified Facebook page on Thursday, Kyari, the leader of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT), said Hushpuppi called his office two years ago and reported a death threat from someone.
According to Kyari, the suspect, who was later identified as Chibuzo Vincent, was arrested but released after investigations revealed that “they are long time friends who have money issues between them.”
Kyari also denied receiving any money from Hushpuppi.
The United States District Court for the Central District of California has in a document said Hushpuppi used Kyari to arrest and jail a co-conspirator, Vincent, after the latter threatened to expose a $1.1 million fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
Hushpuppi, 37, in a plea agreement document he personally signed, pleaded guilty to the charges including money laundering, wire fraud, felony amongst others. He risks 20 years’ imprisonment and other penalties when convicted.
According to the indictment by the court, Hushpuppi allegedly conspired with five others, including Vincent to defraud the businessman (whose name was withheld) by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance the construction of a school in Qatar.
Hushpuppi worked with some of his partners in crime including 28-year-old Abdulrahman Juma from Kenya, and 40-year-old Chibuzo Vincent from Nigeria. Others are Yusuf Anifowoshe, 26; Rukayat Fashola, 28; and Bolatito Agbabiaka, 34.
However, Hushpuppi allegedly hunted Vincent after a dispute broke out among the team and after the latter threatened to expose the fraud to the Qatari businessman.
“According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment,” the statement read in part.
But Kyari said: “Abbas who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about 2 years ago that somebody in Nigeria seriously threatened to kill his family here in Nigeria and he sent the person’s phone number and pleaded we take action before the person attacks his family.
“We traced and arrested the suspect and after investigations, we discovered there wasn’t an actual threat to anyone’s life. And they are long time friends who have money issues between them hence we released the suspect on bail to go and he was not taken to any jail.
“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened.
“Later, he saw some of my native clothes and caps on my social media page and he said he likes them and he was connected to the person selling the clothes and he sent about N300k directly to the person’s account. The native clothes and caps (5 sets) were brought to our office and he sent somebody to collect them in our office.
“Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him. We responded to a distress call he made on threat to his family and released the suspect when we discovered there was no life threat from the suspect. This is the true story. Vincent is alive, he can be contacted.”
Hushpuppi, an Instagram celebrity, known for flaunteling his luxury lifestyle in private jets with exotic wines and expensive wristwatches. His social media handles were replete with photos of his ostentatious lifestyle before his arrest in Dubai last year, after which he was extradited to the US where he is being prosecuted for money laundering and internet fraud-related charges.