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Prison officials are considering moving suspended police officer, Abba Kyari, to the custody of the State Security Service (SSS) from the Kuje prison, Abuja, after he nearly got murdered by aggrieved inmates, who accused him of insincerity in bribe-for-release deals when he was in active service.


The incident occurred on May 4, according to internal documents and officials, months after Kyari, who is on trial for drug-related offenses, was remanded.


According to an official, about 190 inmates attacked Kyari, the majority of whom were incarcerated for narcotics offenses.


Before his arrest, Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police, was a decorated cop and the head of the Inspector-General Police’s special Intelligence Response Team.


He was suspended from police duty after being named as a collaborator in Ramon Abbas’s international fraud and money laundering conspiracy, dubbed “Hushpuppi,” by American investigators last July.


Then, while on suspension and awaiting the outcome of an internal probe, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in February accused him of involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy.


According to reports, the agency released a video in which Kyari appeared to be describing his use of his team to push drugs and discussing sharing of a criminal fortune.


He was charged to court in March and remanded in Kuje prison.


The Kuje inmates claimed Kyari prosecuted them despite taking bribes from them, and described Mr Kyari as a “dodgy criminal,” according to a state investigator and intelligence officer.


Kyari has not been convicted of any crime and has stated that he is innocent of the allegations for which he has been charged.

A Kuje prison source who accessed the testimonies of the aggrieved inmates, said, Kyari was “eliminating smaller (drug) dealers to clear the field for Afam Ukatu,” a suspected billionaire drug baron allegedly behind N3 billion Tramadol deal linked to him.


“Inmates claimed that upon arrest, Kyari demanded bribes to dissolve the case, then still prosecuted them,” the source added.

Kyari was reportedly rescued by officials and is now being held in an isolated cell “under heavy protection where no one sees him for fear of attack or poisoning,” according to reports.


To ‘buy’ his safety and loyalty from the people, the suspended cop had to pay each of the aggrieved inmates N200,000 ‘in initial settlement fees’ and then ‘procured DSTV subscription for cells to buy loyalty and peace,’ the source said.


The source added that despite the provisions the suspended cop made for the inmates, the aggrieved inmates have continued to threaten Mr Kyari’s life.


“Regardless of the level of protection, they vowed to get him. The inmates have given him an ultimatum to return all he extorted from them or be killed.


“In fact, relevant officials have assessed that he will be killed or badly injured if he continues to be remanded in Kuje, and they are considering moving Kyari to an SSS facility,” he added.


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Emilio Lejit

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