Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has claimed ignorance of any formal request for the extradition of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), over his alleged involvement in the Hushpuppi case in the United States.
This is just as he justified the massive deployment of security personnel for the November 6, 2021, governorship election in Anambra State, saying the move was aimed at checking the activities of criminals who may want to use the poll to forment trouble.
Speaking at a ministerial media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the IGP said apart from what he read on the social media, he was not in any way aware of any formal extradition request.
According to him: “I’ve not heard about it formally but I have read it on the social media that there was an extradition request. I’ve not seen it, I’ve not heard it formally. That is one.
“Two. When this issue of Kyari started, we took our own action by constituting a panel to look at the allegation that was made against the senior officer.
“The allegation was based on receiving gratification and also fraternising with Hushpuppi and his group and even receiving some instructions and so forth.
“We looked into all these allegations by a committee that was set up chaired by a DIG, we submitted our report to the SGF for vetting and advice on the finding we have gotten from the investigation.”
He added that his office had received the legal advice from the office of the Attorney General, “which we are working on what to do next in terms of asking the officer to account for what we have gathered in the investigation and what we will do next.
“But as for extradition order, I have not received any, I’ve not heard of any.”
The socialite, Hushpuppi, was arrested in Dubai in June, 2020, over allegations of internet fraud and extradited to the United States where he was reported to have indicted DCP Kyari.
On the deployment of security personnel for Anambra gubernatorial poll, the IG stressed that although the heavy security presence may affect the turnout of voters, the measure was necessary to checkmate criminals disrupting the process.
He stated that in a bid to ensure that Anambra people come out to exercise their franchise, the police is deploying the use of jingles and talking to stakeholders to assure them of their safety.
According to him, most officers that would be assigned to polling stations would be unarmed as they would be involved in checking vote rigging and illegal campaign at venues.
On the possibility of the mass deployment being counterproductive, the police boss said: “As for the massive deployment, yes, it has its advantage, and it has its disadvantage, and that is why knowing the fact that it has disadvantage of may be militarising the electoral process, we try to involve the engagement of public enlightenment, the engagement of stakeholders that our presence is to police the situation in two ways.
“It is, while we are asking people to come out and vote, another group or other subversive elements are saying ‘don’t come. If you come, we’ll do this, we’ll do that.
“So, there must be some level of assurance that we would give to these people to come out and that requires massive deployment of officers and men who would also ensure that the subversive elements do not take over the process.
“While we have other elements that would police the election, which is mostly…we don’t even deploy them with arms. Those we are deploying to polling stations to ensure orderliness and checking of electoral malpractices, like vote buying, campaigning in the place and so forth, this does not even require carrying of arms.
“But you also need to put officers on standby, on patrol that would check the would-be persons that can carry arms against the state.
“We are trying to educate and enlighten people that our presence is for the benefit of everybody; that our presence is for the benefit of ensuring that they come out and exercise their franchise of voting who they want.
“And that is the essence of the jingles we are doing, the essence of going to do community engagements, stakeholders, meetings, talking to their religious leaders and so forth.
“I think it has its advantage; it has its disadvantage, but we try to as much as possible ensure that it is for the advantage of everybody that the massive deployment should take place.”
Baba also emphasised that security forces have made efforts to stabilize the security situation in the southeast by launching various operations.
The IG said the police was maintaining its grounds and ensuring that crime and criminality were checked.