I adopted the title of this article based on an award-winning film scripted around a plot that revolves around three gunslingers competing to find a fortune in a buried cache of Confederate gold amid the violent chaos of the American Civil War (specifically, the New Mexico Campaign in 1862), with the title “The good, the bad and the ugly.”
With hindset, based on recent happenings around the personality of erstwhile commander of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigerian Police Force, Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, whom the media described as a super cop,’ at a point, everyone wanted to have something to do with him, even the media went to town celebrating his intelligence in tracking down notorious kidnappers that were creating security challenges to the country.
So, it was not from the blues when the National Assembly unianimously honoured the police officer with a national award. Sequel to the honour, the leadership of the Nigeria Police, aware of his outstanding fit as a police officer, recommended that he be promoted to the rank of a Deputy Commissioner of Police. A rank he displayed until the tide turned against him. Indeed, his hard-earned fortune somersaulted like a mountain climber falling down the slippery mountainside out of sheer carelessness. In the twinkling of an eye, his robe of dignity got messed up by his camouflaged bad behaviour. His bad behaviour, though surprising and perturbing, was exposed by a faraway foreign security agency, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The question begging for an answer is, what has happened to the internal cleansing mechanism that had over the years helped the Nigeria Police to effectively weed out bad characters in the polic system?
The ugly and unfortunate twist in the Hushpuppi case was his implicating DCP Kyari in his statement before FBI investigators and before a U.S. court, that he knew Kyari and had once during his criminal exploits allegedly bribed Kyari to arrest and jail one of his rivals in Nigeria over a disputed sharing of a $1.1m scam gleaned off a Qatari businessman.
The U.S. court papers also revealed that Yusuf Adekinka Anifowoshe, a.k.a. AJ, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly played a role in the fraud, assisting Abass (Hushpuppi) with a call to the victim, posing as “Malik.”
Special agents with the FBI arrested Anifowoshe in New York on July 22. The conspirators allegedly defrauded the victim of more than $1.1m.
In reaction to the U.S. disclosure, Kyari, on his Facebook page, said, “Abass who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about two 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.”
According to Kyari, “We traced and arrested the suspect and after investigations we discovered there wasn’t an actual threat to anyone’s life.”
Even when the police hierarchy was ambivalent on what appropriate steps to take, Nigerians were not divided in wanting to cast the first stone. When eventually the police set up a high-powered panel to look into the merits of the case, the police capitalized on the popular notion in the country that Nigerians forget very quickly and that was why the eventual release of the findings of DIG Egbunike, which was wrapped up quickly, was overtly delayed in the office of the Attorney-General, “awaiting legal consent.”
More often, delays by government officials to act on issues of national importance are deliberate ploys to sweep matters under the carpet.
The question is, was Kyari ready to learn from his professional blunders? No, it seems. No sooner had the Hushpuppi storm abated than he went haywire again by attending the burial ceremony of the mother of Obinna Iyiegbu, commonly known as Obi Cubana, a socialite who was recently being questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the source of his wealth. Here was an officer whose conduct was already attracting unnecessary inuendos to the police, yet he did not know when to draw the line and keep a low profile. Like a stubborn cow that would not obey his master, Kyari, not withstanding the public outcry, went by special invitation to attend the marriage ceremony of the son of Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba Alkali and allowed himself to be videoed, thereby sending a conflicting message to members of the public of his being an “ untouchable and special officer.”
Again, like an over-ripe and about to rotten mango that has attracted attention, the news broke that the National Drug Law Enforcemennt Agency (NDLEA) had decleared Kyari wanted for drug-related offenses involving 25 kilogrammes of cocaine. The Nigerian Police Force and the NDLEA immediately got entangled in media war. However, the NDLEA hit the nail on the head when it graphically narrated how Kyari had approached one of their loyal and dedicated officers to play dirty games of drugs with him promising huge rewards after the arrest operation. He suggested that the actual quantity of the seizure should be downplayed by replacing some of the drugs with dummies, to enable them have a big chunk of the seizure for sale, worth several millions of naira.
In the NDLEA sting operation, Kyari was caught pants down, as the entire scenario was captured on CCTV planted by the agency.
This of course is the ugly aspect of the Kyari saga. Many security observers are quick to describe the latest revelation of the NDLEA as “from frying pan into fire.” Once a live fish is dropped into the frying pan, the heat propels it to automatically jump into the fire unknowingly. Can it be said that Kyari, with all his security intelligence and training, could jump with his eyes wide open into General Buba Marwa’s NDLEA net? This is rather a very sad period for both the police and Kyari himself. A time was when DSP George Iyamu was fronting for notorious armed robber Lawrence Anini in present-day Edo State. His criminal involvement as Anini’s arms supplier stunned the entire country, making an open ridicule of the police institution. Till date, there are many lyamus still in police uniform denting its image.
Despite his arrest by the NDLEA along with other culprits, Nigerians want to see Kyari in a law court formally charged for the reported offfences, or could these be trumped-up charges to avoid his formal extradition to the United States to face criminal charges already investigated by the FBI?
SECURITY FILE wishes to congratulate the triple force public relations officer, Commissioner of Police Mr. Frank Mbah, who transformed and upgraded the office, as he moves on a national security course to the elite security institution, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Plateau State.