The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has denied the media report that his office has exonerated the suspended commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, on the alleged case of money laundering.
In July 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed how Kyari allegedly collaborated with Hushpuppi, a self-confessed international fraudster, to arrest another fraudster “after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam on Qatari business people”.
Malami had in January stated that Kyari was indicted for money laundering by the Special Investigation Panel which probed his alleged links to Hushpuppi.
The AGF then issued legal advice directing the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, to conduct further investigations, noting that a prima facie case of money laundering has been established against Kyari.
However, in a recent advice dated February 4, Malami has shifted position from his January directive that Kyari should be probed, claiming that there is no “sufficient evidence” that suspended senior officer was involved in money laundering.
The letter, penned on behalf of the AGF by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, said the evidence contained in the case diary “was not sufficient to indicate or show that the said monies were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin.”
The recent advice fuelled speculations that Malami was trying to exonerate Kyari of any culpability by declaring there was nothing linking the Hushpuppi gang to the suspended police officer.
Malami Denies Exonerating Abba Kyari
Reacting in a statement on Sunday, March 13, Malami, through his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, said there appears to be a misunderstanding regarding the issue, noting that he only recommended further investigation in the matter.
He said: “It was a case of work in progress in respect of which the office of the Attorney General of the federation requested for further probe in relation to some aspects of investigation.
“It was clear that the conclusion on the alleged contradiction on the issue was a clear case of misconception.
“The office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice’s stance is that no conclusion has been reached in the direction of absence of evidence relating to the first report.
“The issues were raised for further investigation with a view to cover the field in investigation to arrive at informed decision,” the statment said.
Meanwhile, Abba Kyari is currently detained in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over his alleged involvement in international drug trafficking.