By Sunday Odita, Abuja
One of Nigeria’s celebrated police officers Thursday said he did not connive with known fraudster Ramon Olorunwa Abbs, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
United States authorities said on Wednesday that Hushpuppi reached out o Kyari to arrest one Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, who participated in a fraud scheme with Hushpuppi and Abdulrahman Imraan Juma, a Kenyan national.
Hushpuppi, Vincent and Juma were alleged to have defrauded a Qatari of $1.1 million.
A dispute arose in the gang, which prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud.
After Vincent contacted the Qatari businessperson, court documents claimed that Hushpuppi allegedly arranged with Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police, to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria.
The top cop allegedly then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest as proof to Hushpuppi. US investigators also alleged that he sent his account number for Hushpuppi to pay into.nullnull
Kyari, however, insisted he did not demand or collect any money from the fraudster.
“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,” Kyari said on Thursday.
“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 for a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi. Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened.”
He, however, admitted connecting Hushpuppi to someone who makes his (Kyari) native clothes and caps. This, he said, was done after Hushpuppi liked some of his posts on social media and expressed his likeness for the clothes.
“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,” Kyari said.
“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.