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ABBA KYARI: DO MIRANDA RIGHTS MATTER? – BY SANYA ONI

Let me confess that I barely paid attention to the controversial postings of the embattled super cop, Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari on the Facebook, until a friend a friend drew my attention to what he described as the cop’s tepid denial moments after his indictment by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). And that was even before the FBI released the ‘killer’ transcripts of the exchanges between Hushpuppi and the now out-of-favour cop. From then on, not only did the matter take on a life of its own, the man at the centre of it all, chose the incredible route of singing like a canary, as if completely oblivious of his Miranda Rights – yes, the right to be silent!

Little wonder that ‘little matter’ – of how a Deputy Commissioner of Police, couldn’t have seen the grave folly of waiving his Miranda Rights so cynically when it actually mattered has since become a subject of animated discussion in beer parlors!

So much for the so-called presumption of innocence; now you do not even need a polygraph test to know the version of the unfolding story – between that of Hushpuppy and the FBI on the one hand, and the Kyari version on the other – will stand on scrutiny. After all, the FBI indictment, based largely on the transcripts of the telephone conversations between the duo of Kyari and Ramon Abbas (including text messages and audio) left little to imagination particularly with the copious references to payments, to trips and to activities that had the tinge of criminal conspiracy, with one Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, an individual of whom Hushpuppi was said to have been locked in dispute over a criminal enterprise completing the triumvirate. And the matter: how to share the $1.1 million scammed from a Qatari businessperson.

If, in the end, you are left to marvel at the painstaking rigour of attention to every detail brought to bear on the investigation, or the sheer professionalism that is hard to find in these parts, and, the specific the finding on the criminal racket between the supposedly elite team of crime-bursters and certified international fraudsters. Amazingly, the weighty findings were passed off as sheer bunkum on some nondescript Facebook walls!

Not to the embattled super cop, that old-time police standard operating procedure meant to guard against self-incrimination; if he sensed disaster looming on the horizon, the resort to that all-familiar showmanship was simply irresistible. Not the calm, measured rebuttal as one might expect given the weight of evidence – that is if there was any; but by some thoughtless, ill-advised bravado in a situation where the right to be silent would have been more appropriate if not entirely golden. Our super cop apparently forgot that the internet never forgets. The super cop, who hitherto took delight in regaling his admirers with regular updates of his exploits on his Facebook wall, obviously mistook the saga as one of those fairy tales that his name has been associated. Talk of the matter becoming one of one mis-step after another until the entire castle of inelegantly woven network came crashing down in the world-wide-web!

Poor Abba Kyari; guess he never imagined that a day like this would ever come. Just imagine the stories: the bit about a certified fraudster needing an introduction from a crack detective to his tailor! And then, the other equally implausible account about a man with such a globally acclaimed sordid reputation needing his help to investigate an alleged threat by on his family without as much as basic background checks! And now with the full details of his dalliance now out in the cybersphere, with the weighty allegations sticking out like a sore thumb, our elite cop suddenly realizes that he needs the whole of 12 edits over a 24-hour period to undo the mumbo-jumbo earlier posted as defence before finally taking it down on Wednesday morning.

A case of self-incrimination or one of public relations disaster? The days ahead certainly promises to be interesting as more facts and defence are unleashed on the public space!

Meanwhile, the joke out there is our super cop is actually all brawn – and no brains. By this, they mean that the head of the elite Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Squad (IRT) ought to have shown more intelligence and better discretion in the situation that Abba Kyari found himself. The joke of course extends to the Nigerian Police. As it is, the familiar stereotypes about the institution as one where just about anything goes has not only been reinforced, it has been presented as one available for hire by anyone with the means to pay!

In all however, the greatest joke is on the Nigerian society currently riven by primordial sentiments. In the first place, I can understand the attraction to the James Bond-like tactics of Abba Kyari, and even more the exploits attached to the individual in a country where heroes/heroines are perennially in short supply. The latter obviously explains why the nearly one-dozen allegations of impunity levelled against the IRT have either gone un-investigated or simply overlooked. Had Nigerians not given to promoting form over substance, they ought to have seen through the hollowness in the methods routinely deployed in the name of crime-fighting as indeed the in-built impunity not to pay attention to what is going on; and by extension, to anticipate the embarrassment that the country now has to deal with.

But then, the real problem, seems to me, the ever-growing chasm between Nigerians, on what should be an acceptable behaviour by functionaries in public office.

As it is, not a few Nigerians believe that the man’s misdeeds are no more than misdemeanors, which, given his ‘exploits’ should be overlooked! In other words, the clear breach of trust by a functionary, not least, from an individual charged with law enforcement, could be overlooked under some extenuating circumstances! In the case of Abba Kyari, it would seem to the likes of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), being an effective crime fighter should avail Abba Kyari something of a waiver from “castigation”; hence the threat to bring the roof down, should the federal government yield to “the attempted intimidation of a police officer right inside his independent fatherland”!

Hopefully, we still have enough time for their Oodua and Ndi-Igbo counterparts to hand in their submission on the rule and applicable threats to apply in the cases of Ramon Abbas and Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, the other two-some in the WAZOBIA triumvirate!

Reminds me of that old anthem – though tribe and tongues may differ, in brotherhood they stand! Talk of a brotherhood! Yes, Nigeria – we hail thee!

 

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