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Items filtered by date: July 2021

The FBI has the damning phone conversations and WhatsApp exchanges between Hushpuppi and Nigeria’s supercop, Abba Kyari.

The evidence clearly portrays his role as an accessory in the scamming of a Qatari businessman by Hushpuppi and gang.

Kyari on Thursday denied collecting any money from Hushpuppi, as compensation for arresting the fraudster’s partner Vincent Chibuzo.

But the court document has now exploded his lie.

The Inspector-General of Police Alkali Baba had seen the court record, making him to call for an “internal review”.

The tape is just too damning to extricate Abba Kyari as he is declared wanted by the FBI in connection with the $1.1 million scam.

Here is the full text of the conversation between Hushpuppi, full name Ramon Olorunwa Abbas and Kyari, as contained in the records of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

…On January 20, 2020, KYARI sent to ABBAS biographical, identifying information for CHIBUZO, along with a photograph of him. In a conversation immediately following, ABBAS confirmed “that is him sir.”

KYARI stated, “We have arrested the guy . . . He is in my cell now. This is his picture after we arrested him today.”

KYARI sent the biographical information about, and photograph of, CHIBUZO to ABBAS using two different WhatsApp numbers—the second of which KYARI said was his “private number.” From that point on, KYARI and ABBAS primarily discussed the arrest and detention of CHIBUZO through WhatsApp on this “private number.”

After receiving the photograph of CHIBUZO, ABBAS stated, “I want him to go through serious beating of his life.”

KYARI responded, “Hahahaha,” and ABBAS replied, “Seriously sir.” KYARI then asked for details about what CHIBUZO did “on audio,” which KYARI said was “So that we will know what to do.”

In response to KYARI’s question about what CHIBUZO had done to ABBAS, ABBAS sent KYARI an audio message, which is transcribed here, describing how CHIBUZO had tried to steal away a fraud victim (i.e., “the job”) from him.

“What he did is, I have one job. The job want to pay me 500, umm, 75,000 dollars [i.e., $575,000]. He went to message the job behind me because I told him to help me make one document for me to give the job. Then he went—he has a—I gave him the details. Then he went to message the job behind my back and try to divert the money and in this process, he tell the job because of the documents he gave me that I gave the job, he tell the job, “These document they sent to you before. These people are fake. This money—is me who can help you to get it. Come to me le—bring this money you want to pay these people to me. I’m the only one who can help you,” and all these things to divert the job for himself.”

After listening to the message, KYARI wrote, “Ok I understand [¶] But he has not succeeded.”

ABBAS claimed CHIBUZO had taken some money and provided KYARI with two screenshots, one of which contained the phone number 3054405586 (the phone number CHIBUZO used to contact the Victim Businessperson). The screenshots showed a person contacting the Victim Businessperson and stating that he was providing information to try to “help” the Victim Businessperson.

KYARI responded, “Yeah I understand.” KYARI did not request other information or evidence relating to CHIBUZO’s role in the scheme, ask questions about the nature of the transaction, or ask about why CHIBUZO told the Victim Businessperson that ABBAS was “fake.”

ABBAS then told KYARI, “Now the [Victim Businessperson] was skeptic to pay me the money cos he keep attacking the [Victim Businessperson] from his end. Now I can handle the [Victim Businessperson] correctly.”

ABBAS further told KYARI that he wanted to pay money to send CHIBUZO to jail for a long time, stating “Please sir I want to spend money to send this boy to jail, let him go for a very long time.”

KYARI responded, “Ok bro [¶] I understand [¶] I will discuss with my team who arrested him . . . And handling the case [¶] We will do something about it.”

ABBAS responded, “Let me know how I can send money to the team sir[.] let them deal with him like armed robber.”

KYARI responded, “OK I will send their account details to u.”

ABBAS further wrote, “He betray me and try to take food out my mouth, this is great punishable sin,” and KYARI responded, “Yeah bro.” ABBAS then continued, “I want him to suffer for many years.” KYARI responded, “Hahahaha [¶] Hahahaha.”

Approximately six minutes later, KYARI provided the account information for a bank account at a Nigerian bank, Zenith Bank, in the name of a person other than KYARI himself. ABBAS responded “Ok sir, tomorrow by noon,” indicating that he would make the payment to KYARI’s team by the next day.

On the same day, ABBAS sent JUMA the photograph of CHIBUZO in custody, which KYARI had sent.

Approximately a month later, on February 19, 2020, KYARI sent a message to ABBAS, saying, “Hello hush with [sic] need to talk about the subject under detention with me.”

ABBAS asked “Should I call u on this number sir?” to which KYARI replied, “Yes call me.”

The following day, KYARI sent ABBAS multiple photographs of CHIBUZO, including close-up photographs showing a rash or skin disease on CHIBUZO’s torso and arms. ABBAS responded, “I don pity am, make them leave am from Tuesday.”

KYARI wrote, “Ok bro, they just brought him from hospital. The fever and the rashes is giving him serious Wahala [¶] He got the disease from other suspects in the cell.”

ABBAS responded, “I see am, I no too pity am [¶] That’s what people like him deserve but I go forgive am for God sake.”

In other words, based on my training and experience with Nigerian Pidgin, ABBAS was essentially stating, in part, “I don’t pity him. That’s what people like him deserve, but I will forgive him for God’s sake.”

Based on the date of the messages and later discussion described in paragraph 150, ABBAS was—on Thursday, February 20, 2020— requesting that KYARI not release CHIBUZO until Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

ABBAS then told KYARI that CHIBUZO’s girlfriend messaged him, trying to raise one million naira to secure CHIBUZO’s release, and said ABBAS promised to contribute 100,000 Naira. KYARI stated “They were thinking it’s normal arrest that is why they think money can remove him . . . No money can remove him here [¶] Hahahaha.”

ABBAS added, “But it’s better for them to think that way, I like it like that,” and KYARI responded, “Yeah.”

ABBAS then said, “No problem sir from Tuesday he can go,” apparently giving KYARI his blessing to release CHIBUZO from custody.

KYARI responded, “Ok bro [¶] We will also keep his phone and other gadgets for some weeks.”

ABBAS responded, “Yes those ones they should not give him again, those ones are gone . . . Make he no see those ones again for life,” instructing KYARI not to return CHIBUZO’s electronic devices.

KYARI responded, “Yes he will not see it [¶] again,” indicating that he would accede to ABBAS’ request.

Published in News & Stories

By Dennis Erezi 30 July 2021 | 12:08 pm/ GUARDIAN.NG

There is little or nothing to celebrate for some Nigerian athletes who were at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after their dreams of performing at the World’s biggest sports games tumbled.

Nigerian athletes are protesting local authorities’ “incompetence” during preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

Some Nigerian athletes, who were disqualified from participating in the Games, were seen on the streets of Japan on Friday expressing their anger against the sports administrators in their country.

Blessing Okagbare, one of Nigeria’s brightest hope in the games, is leading the pack of those speaking out against the apparent mismanagement.

“I have said it before and I will say it again. If you do not know the sport, not passionate about it/us (the athletes), then you have no business there as an administrator,” Okagbare said while reacting to the decision of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent body created by World Athletics.

“The sport system in Nigeria is so flaw(ed) and we athletes are always at the receiving end of the damages.”

The country’s highest-ranking table tennis player Quadri Aruna is miffed at the country’s sports administrators’ treatment of athletes.

Aruna’s anger is evident in the three Instagram posts he posted on Friday. He claimed that he has been threatened to be expelled from Team Nigeria’s camp at the Olympics.

“Athletes were been short paid and nobody should complain,” Aruna said in one of the Instagram posts.

“If Honourable minister don’t (sic) come and address the athletes, these officials will spoil all the good things you have been doing.”

More Troubles for Nigeria
Ten Nigerian athletes were among 18 competitors from “high-risk” nations who have been barred from the Tokyo Olympics after failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing, World Athletics’ independent anti-doping arm said Thursday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said the athletes concerned had failed to comply with rules introduced in 2019 requiring those from countries deemed to be at the highest risk of doping — so-called “Category A” nations — to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10-month period leading up to a major event.

Nigeria’s sports ministry said it “regrets the unfortunate development of 10 Nigerian track and field athletes not meeting the testing conditions of the Athletics Integrity Unit.

The sports ministry said it made “all necessary efforts…to bring the athletes to date with compliance to the WADA regulations by the Ministry.”

But Okagbare disagrees.

“They (administrators) were busy fighting over power, exercising their pride over Puma contract/ kits forgetting their major responsibility “THE ATHLETES”,” Okagbare said.

Aruna blamed the authorities for his early exit from the Olympics. Haruna crashed out in the third round after losing to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi 2-4 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Tuesday, July 27.

“You wanted me to perform but you removed the coach that qualified me to the quarter-final in Rio games,” Haruna said in an Instagram post.

Recurring issues
The situation is not new to many Nigerian sportsmen and women who have been there for a while.

Earlier in the week, Nigerian defender Leon Balogun criticised the country’s sports authorities over the poor administration of the team.

His points of criticism of football administration in Nigeria – nonpayment of players, match bonuses, unorganised travel plans – are often identified as leading causes of underperformance by Nigerian teams in football and other sports.

Okagbare is disappointed that the same situation keeps happening over the years.

“It’s sad that this cycle keeps repeating itself and some people will come out to say I am arrogant for speaking my [sic] truth. It is my career,” Okagbare said.

Published in News & Stories
  • Ten Nigerian athletes will be sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after a drug testing mix-up.
  • The athletes weren't tested enough before flying to Japan, and were ruled ineligible by the IOC.
  • The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) took full responsibility for the mishap.

Ten Nigerian athletes will be sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after authorities "dropped the ball" and failed to administer enough drugs tests, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) ruled that the competitors, all of whom have already travelled to Japan, will be unable to take part in the Games because of non-compliance with out-of-competition drug testing requirements.

10 athletes from five other countries – Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, and Ukraine – have also been ruled ineligible to compete.

The AIU said that in the lead up to major sporting events, athletes from countries deemed to have the highest doping risk must undergo "at least three no-notice out-of- competition tests" across the span of three weeks in the 10 months leading up to the event.

The anti-doping framework is known as "Rule 15."

"Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes," the AIU said.

"Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels."

Rosemary Chukwuma celebrates after winning the women's 4x100m relay during the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship
Rosemary Chukwuma (R) at the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship.
Getty/Pius Utomi Ekpe

Rosemary Chukwuma is one of the Nigerian athletes who has been sent home. Her coach, Wes Kittley, said the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), was to blame.

"The bottom line is the Nigeria federation just dropped the ball and didn't test those kids," he said, according to BBC Sport.

"It's just a terrible thing if they don't get to compete because the Nigerian federation never sent anyone to test them. Which will be unfortunate. My goodness."

The AFN itself agrees with Kittley, taking full responsibility for the ejection of its athletes.

"The AFN bears responsibility for any lapses that may have occurred during the process and reassures Nigerians that our performances will not be negatively impacted," the organization said in a statement, per BBC Sport.

"All our athletes resident in Nigeria and who qualified for the Olympic Games completed the three mandatory tests.

"Most of our top athletes resident in the USA also completed their tests. However, a few athletes in the American collegiate system were tested, but those tests were deemed not to have complied with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) sample collection and analysis standards."

The AFN added that none of the athletes sent home had "tested positive to prohibited substances."

Published in News & Stories

By Ifeanyi Ibeh 30 July 2021 | 6:18 am/ GUARDIAN.NG

…It’s the first time two Nigerians will be racing in the 100m semis since 2012

For the first time since 2012, two Nigerian athletes will be running in the semifinals of the women’s 100m after Blessing Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha qualified from their respective heats Friday in Tokyo, Japan.

Nwokocha had to run a new personal best of 11.00 seconds to secure her qualification to the semis in what is her debut Olympic Games.

The 20-year-old has also moved into fifth in the Nigeria all-time list behind Okagbare (10.79), Glory Alozie (10.90), Mary Onyali (10.97), and Damola Osayomi (10.99.

The Nigerian-based athlete, who ran 11.09s personal best at the time, back in March, to secure her qualification for the Olympics at the MOC Grand Prix in Lagos, will, however, need to make further history by breaking the 11-second barrier to stand a chance of joining Onyali and Okagbare as debutants who ran to the final of the 100m event.

She has been drawn to run from lane nine in the third semifinal heat with the fastest woman alive, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, Daryl Neita of Great Britain, Teahna Daniels of the USA and fellow African, Muriel Ahoure, of the Ivory Coast.

While Nwokocha qualified for her first semifinal, Okagbare will be running in her third since she made her debut in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The 32-year-old ran 11.05 seconds to win her first-round heat.

She has been drawn in the first semifinal heat alongside two heavyweights of the event, defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica, who ran 10.82s to win her first-round heat, and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion two years ago in Doha, Qatar, who ran 11.07s to come second in her first-round heat.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics long jump silver medallist will be in action at exactly 11.15 am Nigerian time on Saturday.

Published in Sports

By Gbenga Bada/ THE NATION

BBNaija Shine Ya Eye Housemates have been gifted undisclosed sums of Abeg Naira by Biggie but not with cautions and warnings.

In his character, Biggie left the value picked by each housemate in an envelope a mystery as they can only open the envelope this night.

The housemates were asked to pick a stool from the 23 stools placed in front of them.

On each stool was a sealed envelope containing different values of Abeg Naira.

Biggie clearly told the housemates that the envelopes will remain sealed until they are told otherwise.

He also informed housemates that they do have complete freedom to swap or exchange envelopes with one another at any time before the big reveal tonight.

They’ve also been instructed to guard and protect the seal on their envelopes as any accidental opening or exposure of the contents of the envelopes will result in a stern punishment.

Biggie also gave a bonus envelope that contained a substantial amount of Abeg Naira.

With the envelope came a simple task for the House. They must all decide and gift the 23rd envelope to one deserving housemate.

The decision on whom the envelope is given cannot be made by the Head of House or Deputy. It is the responsibility of all the housemates.

The housemates have been given until tonight to make the decision and they are free to devise and use any means to determine the most deserving housemate to receive the envelope.

Biggie ended his instructions saying if the bonus envelope gets missing, the whole house will be in trouble.

Published in News & Stories

By Adeniyi Adewoyin/ THE NATION

BBNaija Shine Ya Eye housemate, Sammie has revealed he had his first sex with a prostitute at 17.

Sammie, a 26-year-old, a student of Ahmadu Bello University, made this known during a conversation with Angel while discussing about his sexual experiences.

“I was disvirgined by an ashewo (Prostitute) at the age of 17,” he said. “That’s my first sexual experience.”

Sammie and Angel’s conversation lasted for a while and seems to be heading to a romantic relationship as time goes on.

Published in News & Stories

By Gbenga Bada/ THE NATION

Just when Emmanuel was said to be thinking of voluntarily exiting the BBNaija Shine Ya Eye house, he has been presented with the bonus envelope with the highest value of Abeg Naira.

After Biggie’s instruction to all housemates to arrive at which housemate is most deserving of the 23rd bonus envelope with the highest value of Abeg Naira, the housemates were soon engaged in a heated argument on how to award the bonus.

While some insisted on a game of skill to give who was most deserving, others suggested a game of chance because that will ensure fairness. In the end, they settled for a vote and a game of chance was the outcome.

After the game of chance, Emmanuel, who already has his envelope with an undisclosed value of Abeg Naira, became lucky when he emerged as the housemate to be bestowed with the 23rd bonus envelope. With this money, Emmanuel now has spending power.

Earlier on day five, Niyi said Emmanuel is considering a voluntary exit from the house because he is bored.

Interestingly, other housemates think Emmanuel is a bit quiet and with all that’s currently happening in the Shine Ya Eye house, Emmanuel doesn’t seem to find it entertaining.

Published in News & Stories
Friday, 30 July 2021 12:31

Pere, Jackie remain close

By Gbenga Bada/ THE NATION

BBNaija Shine Ya Eye housemates, Pere and Jackie B seem to be getting closer than viewers and fans are expecting.

From prolonged eye contact, seductive tones and lots of one-on- one time, the two housemates are building deeper connections with each other while spending every waking moment with the other 20 housemates.

Although Pere has a naturally striking talking voice, he takes on a deeper and more velvety smooth drawl that gives off flirting vibes when Jackie B is around.

Interestingly, Jackie B, on the other hand, has been doing what she needs to do too; from holding his gaze a tad longer than usual, to listening intently and hanging on to his every word.

On their fourth day in the house, Pere and Jackie B sat together and chatted about love and relationships, as well as what they’ve been through in the afternoon while others took naps.

Pere opened up about how he always has his guard up because of heartbreak saying, “I’m shy and I shield my emotions. I’m actually a sensitive, emotional person. I’m a Cancer.”

Later, Pere and Jackie B retreated to the bedroom where they carried on their conversation about relationships.

Pere then asked Jackie what she looks for in a man and Jackie B gave it all out.

“I don’t like a man who doesn’t know what he wants. He must be in control of his life. A man has to be very direct with his approach. I will get bored of the flirting. I need to know what’s next,” she said.

When Pere asked Jackie B if she’s looking for a relationship in the House, she told him she’s open to it.

After his lengthy conversation with Jackie B, Pere headed to the garden to mull things over and have a word with Emmanuel about his predicament.

“I’m scared. You can like a person, but there’s no way of knowing if she likes you back.

“You just never know if the person is as interested in you, as you are in them. Also, if you catch a cruise, for how long? What happens next?”

Published in Headliners

By Stephanie Busari and Nimi Princewill, CNN Updated 6:40 AM ET, Fri July 30, 2021

Abuja, Nigeria (CNN)A high-ranking Nigerian police officer is being investigated by the FBI for allegedly making an arrest at the request of Instagram influencer Ramon Abbas, who has pleaded guilty to money laundering, according to the US Justice Department.

Nigerian police spokesman Frank Mba sent a statement to CNN confirming that they received an indictment for Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari from the FBI and an internal investigation has been ordered.
"Sequel to the receipt of allegations and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against one of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, DCP Abba Kyari, the Inspector General of Police IGP Usman Alkali Baba ... has ordered an internal review of the allegations," the statement said.

'Arranged arrest'

Court documents cited by the Justice Department allege an undisclosed sum was paid to Kyari by Abbas, who pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering through cybercrime schemes on April 20, according to documents which were only unsealed Wednesday.
Abbas also admitted his involvement in a conspiracy to defraud a Qatari businessman of more than $1 million, the US Justice Department said in a Wednesday statement.
The alleged scam nearly fell apart after one of the group, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, tried to tip-off their Qatari victim about the million-dollar fraud, the Justice Department said in the court papers.
Abbas is accused of arranging to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Kyari, "who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas' behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest," according to the court documents.
Kyari, 46, is a highly-decorated officer, who was conferred with a Presidential medal for courage from Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari. The FBI alleges he sent Abbas bank details for an account where he could paid for agreeing to arrest Vincent.
They succeeded in defrauding the unnamed businessman of $1.1m and part of the stolen money was used to "purchase a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was hand delivered to Abbas in Dubai and subsequently appeared in Hushpuppi's social media posts," prosecutors said.
Abbas also used part of the proceeds to allegedly acquire "St. Christopher and Nevis citizenship, as well as a passport for Abbas obtained by creating a false marriage certificate and then bribing a government official in St. Kitts," according to official documents.
The Los Angeles-based lawyer representing Abbas, Louis Shapiro, told CNN on Thursday that he did not advise Hushpuppi to plead guilty. Shapiro declined to comment further on the case, adding, "I don't comment on cases that I handle."

Police officer denies

Kyari denied the claims in a Facebook post on Thursday, saying Vincent's arrest was carried out based on Abbas' "distress call" following threats made to his family.
"Abbas who we later came to know as Hushpuppi called our office about 2 years ago that somebody in Nigeria seriously threatened to kill his family here in Nigeria and he sent the person's phone number and pleaded we take action before the person attacks his family," Kyari said on social media.
"Nobody demanded any money from Abbas Hushpuppi and nobody collected any money from him. We responded to a distress call he made on threat to his family and released the suspect when we discovered there was no life threat from the suspect. This is the true story. Vincent is alive, he can be contacted," he added.
Attempts to reach Vincent have been unsuccessful.
Abbas was a lavish spender who claimed to be a real estate developer and was famous for tossing wads of cash and flaunting his Rolls Royces, luxury watches, and designer clothing on Instagram where he has amassed more than two million followers.
He was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in June last year after local police raided his Dubai apartment.
Abbas was handed over to FBI agents to face trial in the US on charges of money laundering through cybercrime schemes..
Nearly $41 million in cash, 13 luxury cars valued at around $6.8 million, and phone and computer evidence containing more than 100,000 fraud files and the addresses of nearly two million possible victims were found during the raid, according to Dubai Police.

Published in Business and Economy

By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja/ THE NATION

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for full forensic investigation into reports the United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has linked the head of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, to international serial fraudster, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

A court in the United States where Hushpuppi is standing trial for cybercrime and money laundering, had linked Kyari to some alleged unethical monetary dealings with Huspuppi and called for the police officer’s arrest and prosecution.

In a statement on Thursday by spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described the allegation against Kyari as worrisome, disturbing and a stain on the integrity of the nation.

The statement said: “Our party demands that the APC administration should not sweep this matter under the carpet given the manifest rapport between Kyari and some top APC leaders.

“We urge President Buhari not to “ease out” this case of corruption but should immediately restore the integrity and image of our nation by allowing for a forensic investigation on the suspect.

“Moreover, if this Abba Kyari matter is not well handled, it will be a permanent stain on the reputation of our police, security system and our nation at large”.

The PDP charged President Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police to “take in” Abba Kyari for questioning and if found culpable handed over to the FBI.

Published in News & Stories
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