Opinion: Harakiri And The Abba Kyari Enigma – By Titus Orngu

Amongst the Japanese, especially in the 18th Century, shame is considered worse than death. This is more so when the shame has to come upon a family because of the action or inaction of a member of the family. At such time, that member of the family, even without goading from others, performs a Harikiri: he commits suicide so that the shame will die with him and the family honour would remain. This act is known as ‘honour suicide’.

With the sudden declaration of erstwhile supercop, DCP Abba Kyari wanted by the NDLEA, and his subsequent arrest by Nigeria Police Force, one is inclined to think that Abba Kyari may have done a Harakiri.

The Abba Kyari enigma is really befuddling, to say the least. While he reigned supreme at the IRT as the Commander, there were muted grunts here and there about his dark side: fraternizing with the criminals he was supposed to be sniffing out as well as selling innocence at a fee. But the nation celebrated the supercop because he somehow brought a solution to criminals that held people captive to fear. His latest most celebrated case was the arrest of the billionaire kidnapper, Evans.

But while the nation celebrated him for busting criminals, Abba Kyari himself was a criminal that the nation did not know, in spite of some suspicion, till the American intelligence busted the internet fraudster, Hushpuppi in far away Abu Dhabi by the FBI. The FBI discovered a track laced with pungent spoor of criminality that led to Abba Kyari and requested his extradition from Nigeria to go and answer to the many questions they had for him. Then, the intrigues started.

From some people rising to say that Abba Kyari was being victimized by the Americans (for whatever reason) to those who said Nigeria is a sovereign state and should deal with Abba Kyari in Nigeria, if he violated Nigerian law, the IGP decided to set up a probe panel to investigate the American allegations.

Even with a track laced with photos, bank transfers and voice notes, the initial panel returned a ‘no case verdict’ which necessitated the setting up of another panel. It was the second panel that concluded that actually, Abba Kyari had a case to answer and should be given to America to clear himself.

But it looks like someone somewhere feels hard done by the decision that the erstwhile supercop should be extradited to the USA to face criminal investigation, charges and possible conviction and jail. Because long after that decision was arrived at, nothing was done and Abba Kyari, though shorn of official powers by way of suspension, was roving freely, and frolicking with the high, powerful and mighty.

Not long ago, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission IGP Musliu Smith (rtd) urged the Police Force to conclude the Kyari saga. And then things started racing up.

Shortly afterwards, Kyari was said to be involved in a drugs deal and caught on audio and video tapes. The NDLEA calls it a sting operation. Going by the nature of the man, especially as revealed in the Hushpuppi case, it is little surprising. But it is quizzical that the sting operation had to be publicized and Abba Kyari declared wanted for infringing on Nigerian laws. One thinks this is a condition precedent to denying the extradition of the man to the USA.

The Nigerian government now has a legitimate reason to refuse the extradition request of the Americans because the man has been accused of a crime different from that which his extradition is being sought.

I think, the man and his coterie reckon that it is better to commit harakiri and live with the supposed shame of a drug runner in Nigeria, going to courts every once in a while, while enjoying his liberties and wealth rather than go and end up in an American jail.

The speed with which that man was arrested after being declared wanted points to a fact that we are watching a well-scripted play on our national stage.

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