The irrefutable crimes of DCP Abba Kyari

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo
7 min readAug 15, 2021

In recent years, Abba Kyari, the decorated Nigerian Deputy Commissioner of Police, rode with glee, the wave of his high-profile billing as a super cop who busted criminals. To many, he was the Nigerian answer to Jack Bauer, the Kiefer Sutherland’s character in Fox TV’s series, “24”. To others, he was at best Detective Alonzo Harris, Denzel Washington’s character in the movie “Training Day.”

Watching from a distance, one could see that the hype had already gotten into Abba Kyari’s head, even when he had not spent a decade on that pedestal. The prospects of him becoming a future Inspector General of Police in Nigeria brought chills down the spines of those who knew the true story of the FBI’s most famous director, John Edgar Hoover.

Without prejudice to the FBI charges against DCP Abba Kyari, the real crimes committed by the man are the same ones often committed by Nigeria’s ruling elite. Despite their education and training at home and abroad, they all seem to dismiss these crimes as minor and irrelevant. But upon close examination, we see that they are the roots of the bigger crimes that inevitably follow.

The first and most common one is conflict of interest. Abba Kyari, as a police officer, could not smell a conflict of interest even when it is an inch from his nose. He would hang around every character in the Nigerian space, far too close than an undercover police officer would be ethically allowed to. He had no understanding that part of his responsibility as a law enforcement officer is to stay clear of conflicts of interest or anything that resembles it. That is why he had the audacity to say in defense of his relationship with the arrested Internet scammer, Ramon “Hushpuppi” Abbas, that he only helped the man to buy native clothes and caps and that the payment that he received was not for facilitating the arrest of a rival for the purpose of enabling a crime.

You feel ashamed of him for writing such a defense. It showed how poorly educated and poorly trained the man must have been. He apparently could not see that it was incompatible for a top police officer to be buying clothes and caps to ship to a businessman in Dubai. And it doesn’t matter whether the businessman has a credible source of wealth or not. More troubling is that Abba Kyari must have known that it was not…

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo is the author of "This American Life Sef."