Disgraced and suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari escapes assassination in prison, ENigeria Newspaper reports.
After he was nearly murdered by enraged inmates who accused him of insincerity in bribe-for-release transactions while in active service, prison officials are considering shifting suspended police officer Abba Kyari to the custody of the State Security Service (SSS).
The attack occurred on May 4, according to internal documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, months after Mr Kyari, who is on trial for drug-related offenses, was remanded. According to an official, his assailants numbered over 190 people, the majority of whom were incarcerated for narcotics offenses.
Before his arrest, Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police, was a decorated cop and the head of the Inspector-General Police’s special Intelligence Response Team. First, he was suspended from police duty after being named as a collaborator in Ramon Abbas – Hushpupi’s international fraud and money laundering conspiracy, dubbed by American investigators last July.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) accused him of being involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy in February, while he was on suspension awaiting the outcome of an internal investigation. Mr Kyari appeared to be outlining his use of his team to promote drugs and discussing the distribution of a criminal riches in a video provided by the agency.
“Dodgy” bribe-taking cop
According to our information, the Kuje assailants claimed Mr Kyari prosecuted them despite taking bribes from them. Mr Kyari was characterised as a “dodgy criminal” by one of the sources, a state investigator and intelligence official revealed.
Mr Kyari has never been convicted of a crime and maintains his innocence in the allegations against him.
According to our informants, Mr Kyari was “eliminating lesser (drug) traffickers to clear the field for Afam Ukatu,” a suspected billionaire drug lord linked to Mr Kyari’s N3 billion Tramadol deal.
“Inmates said that after being arrested, Abba Kyari wanted money to drop the case, but that he nevertheless prosecuted them,” according to a Kuje jail source who had access to the dissatisfied inmates’ statements.
Francis Enobore, a spokesman for the Nigerian Correctional Service, disputed that Mr Kyari was attacked. Meanwhile officials with firsthand knowledge of the attack, as well as internal records from the service, confirmed the attack.
Mr Kyari was rescued by officials, according to our sources, and is now being held in a separate cell “under heavy protection where no one sees him for fear of attack or poisoning.”
Mr Kyari had to pay each of the dissatisfied inmates N200,000 in “first settlement payments” and then “purchased DSTV subscriptions for cells to buy loyalty and tranquillity,” according to one source.
However, Mr Enobore, who speaks for the correctional service, said, “I am not aware Abba Kyari paid anybody to secure his safety in prison.”
Mr Kyari is alleged to have amassed wealth far in excess of his fair earnings by inverting his role as a law enforcement officer and involving in illicit activities. In April, NDLEA said they marked properties in Borno, Kano, Lagos, and Abuja ‘linked’ to the disgraced officer.
Still threatening to kill
Despite the ‘settlements’ the aggrieved inmates have continued to threaten Mr Kyari’s life, our sources said.
“Regardless of the level of protection, they vowed to get him,” a source said. “The inmates have given him an ultimatum to return all he extorted from them or be killed.”
“Relevant officials have assessed that he will be killed or badly injured if he continues to be remanded in Kuje.”
An official recommendation has therefore been made that Mr Kyari should be transferred out of Kuje to an SSS facility, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
The SSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, did not answer calls, nor did he reply to a text requesting he comment on this report.
Meanwhile, prison sources described Mr Kyari’s life in Kuje.
“So far, he has every relevant officer on his payroll. They do his bidding, he sees his wife, and he has access to mobile devices and marabouts,” one source said.
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