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US President, Biden Snubs Buhari In His First Calls to Africa

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US President Joe Biden has reached out to Kenya in his first call to Africa.
He made the first call to an African leader last week as he snubbed the continents most populous nation, Nigeria.
Experts say the omission reflects not only America’s diplomatic priorities but Nigeria’s estimation at a time the continent’s largest democracy faces staggering domestic problems.
Mr Biden reached out to Africa Thursday after more than a month in office and a flurry of phone calls to American allies around the world.
He spoke to President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, while Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday.
Mr Biden had earlier spoken to President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa in November 2020, days after his election.
The obvious sidestepping of Nigeria, long seen as an influential regional leader, has not gone unnoticed.
 
“It’s an indication that the United States government doesn’t think too much about our performance as a country right now. It’s as simple as that,” said Jide Osuntokun, professor of History and International Relations at the Osun State-based Redeemer University.
“Many governments outside Nigeria are worried about the future of our country. So it’s an indication that you have to do something or the world will pass you by.”
Many global leaders traditionally view engagements with their American counterparts, either through telephone calls or visits, as a gauge of their countries’ strategic interests with respect to the foreign policies of the world’s most powerful nation. They also pay attention to the timing of those interactions.
Former President Barack Obama called 22 world leaders in four days after his election in 2008, while President Donald Trump called 20 within seven days of his election in 2016, according to CNN data.
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Abba Kyari deletes infamous Facebook statement telling FBI he was Hushpuppi’s tailor

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Nigeria’s disgraced police chief Abba Kyari has deleted his infamous Facebook update in which he responded to his indictment in the United States with claims that he was only rendering tailoring services to notorious fraudster Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas.

Peoples Gazette report.

Mr Kyari took to Facebook hours after his indictment was announced by the U.S. Department of Justice on July 29, saying barely knew Hushpuppi and imploring his supporters should disregard the allegations because they contained no substance.

In the post that subsequently elicited thousands of comments and inspired a flurry of biting memes on social media, the suspended deputy police commissioner said his only connection with Hushpuppi was when the fraudster saw some traditional attires on his social media page and contacted him that he liked them.

“Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him,” Mr Kyari emphasised. “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.”

But it was soon clear that Mr Kyari was lying about his relationship with Hushpuppi and what he knew of the fraud after the syndicate’s full indictment and Mr Kyari’s arrest warrant were obtained and first published by Peoples Gazette. He still went on to circulate a statement via WhatsApp, claiming the documents published by The Gazette were fake but this time without the bit about the tailoring services he rendered to Hushpuppi.

Following police’s confirmation that the documents were genuinely from the U.S. authorities, Mr Kyari was suspended from the police and a panel was raised to probe his involvement in a cross-border scheme of wire fraud and money laundering.

At about 12:03 a.m. on August 4, Mr Kyari initially edited the Facebook post to remove the N300,000 claim and admit that he received N8 million from Hushpuppi to hold a member of their syndicate, Chibuzo Vincent, in custody for a $1.1 million cyberheist to pull through following The Gazette’s story on that affair.

By 4:01 a.m., barely four hours later, both the original post and the edits had disappeared from Mr Kyari’s page. Why the disgraced officers decided to remove the entire post after it had been seeing presumably by millions across the world was not immediately clear. He did not return a request from The Gazette seeking comments.

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Kyari: AGF Malami’s Dilemma, Pressure mounts on FG to surrender him

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Regarded as one of Nigeria’s most successful crime busters in police, the news about Abba Kyari’s alleged link with the infamous suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, took Nigerians by the storm.

A document from the court in the United States reeled out conversations between Kyari, a celebrated Deputy Commissioner of Police, who is the Commander of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response and Monitoring Team, and Hushpuppi regarding bribery and the arrest of another suspected fraudster.

The prosecution said in the filings that Hushpuppi disclosed during interrogation that he bribed Kyari to have one of his rivals arrested in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1 million swindling of a Qatari businessperson. The confession was contained in a case between the United States (prosecutor) and Ramon Abbas; Abdulrahman Juma, Vincent Chibuzor, Abba Kyari, Rukayat Fashola, and Bolatito Agbabiaka, who were listed as defendants, at the US District Court for the Central District of California.
Hushpuppi, who recently pleaded guilty to the crime, was only last week sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

How Kyari got himself involved
According to the details of the confession, Hushpuppi asked Kyari to arrest Chibuzor, after both disagreed over how to share the $1.1 million swindled from the Qatari businessperson.
Chibuzor, it was revealed, had contacted the victim and informing him that he was being scammed by a syndicate led by Hushpuppi. The revelation angered Hushpuppi, who contacted Kyari to arrest Chibuzor.

Hushpuppi confessed that Kyari sent pictures of Chibuzor in detention and subsequently sent a bank account number to him (Hushpuppi) to which money was transferred in acknowledgement of a job well done.

Kyari, after the allegation hit the public space, had taken to his Facebook page to write that he only assisted Hushpuppi to get native clothes and caps worth N300, 000.

He also admitted arresting Chibuzor after Hushpuppi alleged that he was threatening his family in Nigeria.

Kyari also said he never demanded any money from Hushpuppi, adding that his team was focused on saving people who were being threatened.

But the court document indicated that Kyari’s claims were false. For instance, the document revealed that after an earlier discussion with Kyari, the celebrated DCP requested Chibuzor contact details from Hushpuppi, which was provided on January 15, 2020.

He (Hushpuppi) sent an audio recording to Kyari via WhatsApp, stating that he wanted to remind Kyari about what they discussed earlier and on January 16, 2020. Kyari later confirmed the arrest and detention of Chibuzor to Hushpuppi and in turn, Hushpuppi requested an account number to which he sent money meant for Kyari’s team members.

Apart from the other video clips, pictures, and text documents that were got from Kyari’s conversation with Hushpuppi, it was learnt that Kyari provided a Zenith Bank account detail in the name of a third party, and on May 20, 2020, Hushpuppi sent Kyari transaction receipts for two transactions, “The amounts on the transaction receipts totalled N8million, which was approximately $20,600 based on publicly available exchange rate information.”

All the communications between Kyari and Hushpuppi were on phone numbers +2349099999131 and +2348120000043, both of which Hushpuppi saved as Abba Kyari.

How FBI swung into action
Following the US District Court of California warrant of arrest issued on Kyari over his role in a fraud committed by Hushpuppi, the Federal Bureau of Investigation swung into action.

It was learnt that Otis Wright of the District Court for the Central District of California ordered the FBI to arrest Kyari and produce him in the US for his role in a $1.1m fraud.

The court documents showed that the US prosecutors first sought a court warrant to arrest Kyari on February 12, 2021. Another warrant was requested on April 29, 2021.

It was further learnt that Wright’s permission for the FBI to arrest Kyari and hold him in US custody was unsealed on July 26, 2021.

Hushpuppi, 39, who was arrested in Dubai June last year, pleaded guilty to various charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, and felony.

IGP, Falana, CNG, others react
Meanwhile, the warrant of arrest issued on Kyari has elicited pot-pourri of reactions from across the board including Kyari’s boss, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, and the spokesperson for the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.

For instance, the IGP, Baba, immediately ordered a probe into the allegations.

Baba, in a statement through the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, directed an-in house review of allegations levelled against Kyari by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The statement read, “Sequel to the receipt of allegations and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against one of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, DCP Abba Kyari, the Inspector General of Police IGP, Usman Baba, has ordered an internal review of the allegations.

Kyari: Pressure mounts on FG to surrender him
The commission would not be bound by the IG’s review of the allegations against Kyari.

Braimoh stated that the commission’s findings would determine Kyari’s future in the police force.

He said, “The commission won’t say anything until we get the official report. We are the final decision-maker on his fate as a police officer. Everything concerning his indictment can be investigated and the criminal aspect of it can be sent to the law court, but on the official aspect concerning discipline, no other body has the power to do anything to him as a police officer, it is only the commission that has such powers.

“So, the commission is awaiting the full report of the investigation and his indictment and we will treat it officially; we would apply the law. The law will determine the various punishments that we can award against him. He can be dismissed depending on the gravity of the offence; we can demote him, reduce his rank; we can suspend him.

“Many things are laid out before us about various offences and after that, the criminal aspect would be referred to the court for prosecution. It depends on how the report is coming; whether it is coming to us directly for us to extricate the criminal aspect and treat it or they want to treat it and refer the official one to us to discipline him.’’

Giving further insight, Braimoh explained that Kyari would be queried after which he would be interrogated by the Force Disciplinary Committee.

“We don’t always believe the police should investigate the police (personnel) except through the commission. But the important thing is that whatever thing they decide to do, we are not obliged to accept their investigations. So, our investigation department would still go further to get the facts.

“What we know they would do is that a query would be issued based on the complaints against him. He would be asked to defend himself and then, he would face what we call the Force Disciplinary Committee which would interrogate him and the report passed to the DIG in charge and from there to the IG.

“The IG would forward the final findings and recommendations to the commission. The commission would now carry on with their investigation; we have to re-investigate what they have done to ensure that they comply with the rule of law and what is expected.

“Our lawyer would look into it, he would check the facts and if we feel there is negligence and that some things are not done, we would do a thorough job and eventually, we would have recommendations from the standing committee to the plenary for a final decision and our decision is final on his career,” he added.

Meanwhile, there is uncertainty over the setting up of the panel that would review the allegations against Kyari.

Although the IG announced on Thursday that the force would review the allegations against Kyari, it could not be confirmed if this had been done as of Friday.

The force spokesman, Frank Mba, did not respond to inquiries on the composition of the review panel and the deadline for setting up of the panel.

Pressure mounts for his extradition to the US
In the last few days, officials of the FBI have met with the IGP, Baba, to demand the arrest and extradition of Kyari to the US.

It was learnt that four FBI agents met with the IGP last Thursday, asking that Kyari be taken to the US for interrogation over his role in the fraud.

The meeting, it was learnt, continued the next day Friday.
A top police source reportedly said, “The FBI agents met with the IGP on Thursday to demand Kyari’s arrest and extradition to the US, citing the urgency of the case. The four FBI agents returned to the IG’s office this morning, they are there asking the IGP to release Kyari for interrogation.”

Credit to ThisNigeria

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Gov. Abiodun Donates Land To NDLEA, Hands Over Van, Motorcycles To Marwa

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The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.

-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), yesterday solicited the support of Ogun State government to combat drug abuse and drug-related crimes in the country.

Marwa spoke during his official visit to Governor Dapo Abiodun at his Oke Mosan office in Abeokuta, the state capital, as part of his nationwide appraisal and advocacy visits to the agency’s state commands.

The NDLEA boss, who decried the high prevalence of drug abuse in the Southwest, said about 22.4 per cent of the residents abused drugs.

He added that in Ogun State, about 17 per cent of the residents abused drugs and other dangerous substances.

Marwa said the NDLEA would need a piece of land to build a barracks on for its personnel.

“With the high prevalence of drug abuse in the country, I want to solicit Your Excellency’s support in combating the menace in the state.

“As we all know, drug abuse destroys life, community, and it has no respect for age, gender and religion; hence, the need to engage critical stakeholders in the fight to stem the tide of this social malaise,” Marwa said.

Praising Abiodun for partnering the agency in combating drug abuse in the state, the NDLEA boss announced that the agency had finalised plans to build a barracks for its operatives to further secure them from drug barons and peddlers.

He urged the state government to provide a piece of land to build the barracks for the agency’s personnel.

“NDLEA is a hazardous place to work for our officials. They arrest drug peddlers and barons; they prosecute them, and they will go back to the same community to sleep among the people. This is very dangerous for our officials. We need land to build a barracks for them,” Marwa said.

The NDLEA chairman hailed Abiodun for his leadership style, stressing that this had contributed to his numerous achievements, especially in infrastructural development, health, education and security.

Responding, Abiodun hailed Marwa for stepping up the fight against drug abuse across the country, saying: “The NDLEA has been reborn and is witnessing a new lease of life under your watch.”

The governor expressed the readiness of his administration to partner and assist NDLEA in its quest to combat drug abuse in the country.

“We will step up our support to you. We will work more to reduce the percentage of drug consumption in the state,” he said.

The governor later presented an operational van and two motorcycles to the state command of the agency to boost its fight against drug abuse.

He also promised to donate a piece of land to build NDLEA’s staff quarters on.

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