The peaceful coexistence of any nation springs from a close web of effective policing whereby security is guaranteed by agencies tasked to safeguard internal exigencies of such country in line with global best practices. Perspectively, the Nigeria Police is tasked to maintain law and order within the territorial markings of the federation and standardized to display aloofness in reference to corruption. In this measure – with particular focus on Nigeria – it is tasking to define corruption in reality of context because what is tagged corruption in saner climes is branded to suit with seasoned nomenclature as “connection” or “grace” which in lay man analogy can better be captioned as “long leg”. Be that as it may, who ever introduced the “scratch my back, I scratch your back” mode of illegality in Nigeria has done the country more harm than good.
The recent indictment of Nigeria’s supercop, Abba Kyari in a shady deal by Ramon Olorunwa Abbas popularly known as Hushpuppi, a celebrated cyber scammer is another twist of scandalous event which serves as an eye-opener especially as it relates to the most chanted anti corruption vibe with zero relevance in equations of tangible results.
However, it is factual to assert that the accused has carved a niche for himself in combating crime in Africa’s most populous country. He deserve tremendous accolades and have won numerous awards of excellence but the recent tick is a sour taste on his delicious integrity. By and large, it is also a dent on the image of the Nigeria Police Force especially at a time like this where President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership posture is tentatively hammering on corruption.
Kyari’s dilemma could be likened to the cry of an owl in the night and the death of a child in the morning. Albeit, this is the first major indictment of his hard earned name it is difficult convincing his admirers that he is not guilty as charged especially as the Nigeria social media space is littered with testimonials of Kyari’s close rapport with Hushpuppi.
Unfortunately, his interactions with Hushpuppi (which he did not deny) would have been trashed under the rug had it been the accusers originated from his native country – Nigeria. This is not a bid to vindicate the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in their claims but Kyari’s flock of admirers would not hesitate to carry his cross if he was accused by a Nigerian anti graft agency with slogans of “corruption is fighting back”. Shamefully, some myopic supporters of the supercop are embracing lines of predictive argument to save his head from drowning in a shallow river. He who comes into equity must come with clean hands for a sane conscience is fearless of sheepish accusations.
The swift decision of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali to suspend the accused from his portfolio as Head of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) is commendable. A panel of enquiry was also instituted to probe the allegations. The onus now lies on the committee to write their names in gold by adopting due diligence in their anticipatory professional investigation. In order to authenticate or rebut the report of FBI, it is instructive the investigation panel maintain a strong-will of impeccable disposition by shunning any form of interference from higher authorities.
Sympathetically, Kyari’s involvement should not be celebrated by his critics who are leveraging on the widely attested professionalism of the FBI as a yardstick. An effective probe should be conducted because Hushpuppi may adopt a pranking style of kleptomaniac distraction to perish with celebrated personalities. In fairness to Kyari, there is no smoke without fire but his flimsy standpoint of contracting Hushpuppi to his Tailor is a gruesome assault on his soaring integrity. A thief who is secretly bankrolling his kinsmen may perish together with the oldest man in his clan any day he is caught.
In the time past, policing in Nigeria has been bedeviled with varying form of allegations and counter opinion with stenchy notions of its personnel engaging in corrupt practices. Kyari’s latest opprobrium is not just a breach of public trust but a cynical blunder calling for a thorough purge of police rank and file without further delay.
Recall that in 2020, Nigerian youths and other well meaning Nigerians took to the streets of the nation to protest police brutality by the now defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) rephrased to Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) and the outcome was bloody at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos state. The fundamental Human Rights of citizens was bashed with assaults and unethically described stringent torture. This is a quick reminder, Nigerians are watching and any attempt to sabotage justice in relativeness to the probe of Abba Kyari can instigate further crisis. In the same vein, the absence of ethical investigations would further depreciate the image of the Nigeria Police at the international scene and national base of relevance. Technicality should not overtake justice!
Aberrations are easily erased in Nigeria by the power that matters but it is conventionally buried in the minds of the masses. The fading voices of Kyari’s critics of fashionista contract as explained by the accused does not entail forgiveness. Nigerians are watching. At the end of ongoing investigations, if Abba Kyari is guilty as charged, he should not hesitate facing the law. It would further serve as deterrence to other law enforcement agents romancing with criminals which is against their code of conduct. The Nigerian Police is doing their best in combating crimes but it is not lacking bad eggs which is a norm in any organization even in Rome. To this end, Hushpuppi’s mentioning of Kyari is not just revealing but a pointer leading to other collaborative disorder suffocating the smooth process of effective policing in Nigeria.
Kyari succeeded in building an enviable career for himself with many of his superiors learning the act of passionate impulsion from his conduct. Unlike many officers who prefer sitting in the comfort of their air conditioned offices to dish out instructions, the embattled Head of the IRT unit was always in the nook and corner of dreaded zones apprehending criminals. It is noteworthy that Kyari’s passion for his job was second to none. Prior to his indictment, his name was a terror in the den of robbers but the recent stain is a big blow to the Nigeria Police and a win in the circle of criminal elements. Therefore, in the face of these development or unfolding drama, the new Head of IGP–IRT unit should not fold his arm and relax his back because it time for his team to watch their back.
– Ajogwu Jerry Ochada writes from Abuja.