Twenty-two days after Abba Kyari, former Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), was suspended, following a Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) indictment in a global internet fraud, there is yet no sign of what the next line of action would be.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba on July 31 asked that Kyari be suspended pending the findings of the Special Investigation Panel constituted to probe the allegations levelled against the ‘Super Cop’.
The FBI, in a court filing in the US, gave details of Kyari’s complicity in a $1.1m internet scam.
But on Thursday, the Police Service Commission (PSC), also set up a separate committee to probe Kyari—a move that would surely be interpreted as a lack of confidence in the police probe.
The commission had set up its, “in-house panel”, 19 days after that of the police.
It is unclear why the PSC had to set up another probe panel but the commission said it is for the purpose of gathering relevant information and document to help it take a decision on the police probe report anytime it is ready.
While the Police panel is headed by Deputy IGP, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Joseph Egbunike, the PSC’s panel is headed by the commission’s Director, Department of Police Discipline, Tijani Mohammed.
Interestingly, the development came two days after the police debunked claims that its probe panel had concluded and submitted its investigation.
Reports claimed the IGP had rejected it on the grounds of leniency, but the police said they were still investigating the matter.
The double efforts to set up committees to probe Kyari may suggest a lack of synergy and distrust between the PSC and NPF especially with uncertainties surrounding his extradition.
According to report, an official of the Commission who preferred not to be mentioned, said that the PSC had only set up a separate panel to expedite the disciplinary action on Kyari.
According to the source, the PSC neither has an interest in Kyari’s extradition nor in the report of the FBI, as it is only concerned with taking the necessary actions of either dismissing, exonerating or retiring him at the recommendation of the IGP.
He assured that the in-house panel would also not question the findings of the police panel as it does not lack confidence in what IGP is doing, rather it will “examine the public service law and prepare something for plenary so that when the report comes, the PSC will not delay in making an informed opinion and taking an informed decision on whether he should be dismissed, exonerated, demoted or retired”.
Rule (030410) of the Federal Government Public Service Rules says, “If an officer is convicted on a criminal charge, the commission shall consider the proceedings of the court and if it is of the opinion that the officer should be dismissed or subjected to some lesser penalty on account of the offence for which he/she has been convicted, the officer may thereupon be dismissed or otherwise punished without any of the procedure proscribed in Rule (030306) being followed.
Also, rule (030407) says, “The ultimate penalty for serious misconduct is dismissal. An officer who is dismissed forfeits all claims to retiring benefits, leaves or transport grants etc subject to the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004”.
Recall that Kyari who is widely celebrated for bursting several criminal gangs in Nigeria was indicted by the FBI for links with popular socialite Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi and four others facing charges of internet scam in the United States.
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