Troubled Abba Kyari, finally exposed, see details below..
The former police commissioner, Abba Kyari ordered the immediate diversion into private custody all cash and assets seized from slain abduction lord Collins ‘E-Money’ Ezenwa in 2018, according to police internal memo and testimonies of a police prosecutor, People’s Gazette reports.
The NBA Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) heard this from police prosecutor Nosa Uhumwangho on Wednesday, as controversies have surrounded how the police handled Mr Ezenwa’s assets since his death in 2018.
Kyari and his team were accused by Gift, the late kidnapper’s wife, of attempting to take over her late husband’s businesses and property, as well as withdrawing money from his accounts and putting it in their own pockets.
Kyari, who is being investigated for fraud, denied any wrongdoing in 2019 after the Nigeria Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International accused the Intelligence Response Team led by the suspended police chief of illegally depleting the kidnap kingpin’s assets in separate petitions.
Mr Uhumwangho, the IRT legal officer, claimed that on Mr Kyari’s orders, he diverted N3,075,300 generated from Mr Ezenwa’s De-Ingrid Hotel and another property at Edingurgh, Enugu, into his private account in a 131-paragraph affidavit submitted to the NBA-LPDC on June 30 this year and seen by Peoples Gazette.
According to the police prosecutor, the order to transfer the funds to Mr Kyari’s personal Zenith Bank account was made for “reasons best known” to him.
Mr Uhumwangho also claimed that Mr Kyari ordered a well-known cultist, Tochukwu Okeke, to collect rents from Mr Ezenwa’s properties on his behalf. Mr Okeke is being held by the Nigerian army’s 82 Division for alleged ties to IPOB gunmen in the southeast.
Justice Ijeoma, a lawyer and human rights activist, filed a petition accusing the lawyer of “conduct unbecoming of a legal practitioner,” which he denied.
Mr. Ijeoma accused Mr. Uhumwangho of conspiring with other officers to illegally convert Mr. Ezenwa’s properties in his petition to the NBA-LDPC.
Mr Kyari claimed that the NHRC had authorised him to recover money from the kidnap kingpin’s account and pay it into a private account while the case was pending in court in a letter dated January 25, 2019.
“On the 25th of January 2019, the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission (Presidential Panel on SARS Reforms) in Abuja directed the Legal Officer of the IGP-IRT to recover money in the possession of anyone in control of the aforesaid properties and force them to account.
“In light of the foregoing, you are hereby directed/ordered to recover any money therefrom, take possession of it, and ensure that it is properly kept and safe in your custody, because if it is paid into the Police account, it will be difficult to recover and tender it before the court, as the matter is still pending before the Honourable Federal High Court, Owerri Judicial Division.”
Mr Kyari’s letter stated, “The court may make a demand for it in the near future.”
Sources from the NHRC panel that met between the 14th and 26th of January 2019 denied the claim.
Kyari couldn’t be reached for comment, and the police spokesperson, Frank Mba, did not respond to a request for clarification on whether it is standard police procedure to divert assets under investigation into private custody in order to preserve evidence.
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A former police corporal, M Ezenwa was killed on the Enugu-Owerri Expressway on January 27, 2018, while travelling with two of his cousins who were also suspected kidnappers.
The late kidnapper joined the police force in 2009 and resigned in November 2017 on a salary of N47, 000.