Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has urged the police panel probing embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to seize his phones and thoroughly analyse his oral and written communications on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, amongst others.
National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, made this known on Thursday in a chat with The PUNCH.
According to Onwubiko, the Special Investigation Panel headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, should have seized the cop’s phones immediately the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, constituted the panel last week.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States issued an arrest warrant against Kyari for alleged collusion in a $1.1m fraud allegedly committed by money laundering suspect, Abass Ramon, aka Hushpuppi, and four others.
The IGP had subsequently suspended Kyari as former Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team and appointed DCP Tunji Disu as his replacement.
FBI Special Agent, Andrew Innocenti, in a document titled, ‘Criminal Complaint By Telephone Or Other Reliable Electronic Means’ filed before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, had alleged that Hushpuppi contracted the services of Kyari after a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Vincent allegedly threatened to expose the alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
Innocenti, who said he ransacked the voice calls and WhatsApp conversations between Kyari and Hushpuppi had also alleged that the latter paid the police officer N8m or $20,600 for the arrest and detention of Vincent.
Kyari, who has 447,353 followers on Facebook as of the time of filing this report, had taken to Facebook on July 29, 2021, to chronicle his denial against the allegations but he later deleted the post on Tuesday night after series of editing and tweaking.
Kyari is presently facing the DIG Egbunike panel and has started presenting his defence to the SIP at the Force headquarters, Abuja. The panel is expected to probe Kyari and submit its findings to the IGP.
But in a chat with The PUNCH, HURIWA noted that the panel should have started frisking the phones of Kyari for a thorough investigation since it was constituted last week.
The advocacy group said, “We in Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria will be shocked to find out that the telecommunications companies aren’t summoned by the IGP investigative panel to unravel the discussions held between the embattled DCP and Hushpuppi.
“Most likely, the police authority has had unlimited access to those facts which was the necessitating factor for the very prompt action by the IGP to replace him. Moreover, the FBI has possession of the transcripts of those transactions.
“But to be on the safe side, all those phones should have been seized since by the police unless they intend to undermine the transparency of the probe.” PUNCH