lawyer attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT), Nosa Uhumwangho, has explained how the embattled ‘Super Cop’, Abba Kyari, made him pay the proceed from a hotel owned by an alleged kidnap kingpin into his account.
Uhumwangho stated this while appearing before the Nigerian Bar Association Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) on Wednesday.
The lawyer said Kyari told him to pay the sum of N3, 075, 300, which was generated from De-English hotel, Enugu and another property at 21, Edinburgh Street, owned by late Collins Ezenwa also known as E-Money, an alleged kidnapper, into his (Uhumwangho’s) bank.
Kyari, who was suspended from the Nigerian Police Force, is under investigation after an indictment by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over his relationship with a popular fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi.
He has denied the allegations of corruption levelled against him.
But in a 131 paragraph affidavit on 30 June 2021, and submitted to the NBA’s LPDC, Uhumwangho said Kyari had authorized him to pay the money into his Zenith Bank personal account for “reasons best known to them”.
The lawyer also stated in the affidavit that Kyari’s team had previously instructed Tochukwu Okeke, a notorious cult member to collect rents from properties owned by late Ezenwa on his behalf.
Okeke is currently being detained at the 82 Division of the Nigerian army over his alleged sponsorship of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra in the southeast.
Okeke, who refused to appear before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) panel investigating the activities of SARS, had claimed that he paid $2 million ransom to late Ezenwa’s gang after he was kidnapped in 2016.
Uhumwangho was dragged to the NBA disciplinary committee by a lawyer and human rights activist, Justice Ijeoma, for “conduct unbecoming of a legal practitioner”.
In his petition to the NBA-LDPC, Ijeoma alleged that Uhumagho, acting in cahoots with other police officers attached to the Inspector General of Police –Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT), criminally converted the properties of his client.
Uhumagho, under cross-examination by Ijeoma’s lead counsel, Max Ogar, admitted paying the money into his personal account based on the directive of his boss, Abba Kyari.
In a letter dated 28 January 2019 obtained by Sahara Reporters, Abba Kyari wrote, “ The National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (Presidential Panel on SARS Reforms) which sat in Abuja on 25th January 2019, directed the Legal Officer of IGP-IRT to recover money in possession of any person controlling the aforesaid properties and make them render an account.
“In view of the above-stated fact, you are hereby directed/ordered to recover any money therefrom and take possession and make sure it is properly kept and safe in your custody, because if paid into the Police account, it will be difficult to recover it and tender it before the court as the matter is still pending at the Honourable Federal High Court, Owerri Judicial Division. The court may make a demand for it in the nearest future.
“Thank you for your patriotic zeal in serving the Nigeria Police Force and your motherland to the best of your ability and capability. Accept the assurance of my high esteem regard.”
However, sources from the NHRC panel, which sat between 14th and 26th January 2019, denied authorizing Kyari to collect any money on late Ezenwa’s property and pay into a private account.
In 2018, Amnesty International and National Human Rights Commission accused Kyari of illegally depleting assets of Collins Ezenwa who was illegally executed by SARS in Owerri, Imo State.
Collins Ezenwa’s wife told the NHRC panel that Kyari and his team withdrew money from her late husband’s bank account, seized his cars for their private use and pocketed millions in accommodation proceeds from his hotels and properties.
The Nigerian Human Rights Commission said in an October 2018 petition to the then Inspector-General, Ibrahim Idris, that the IRT, led by Abba Kyari, a deputy police commissioner, had depleted the asset of Collins Ezenwa, a suspected kidnapper who was gunned down in January 2018.
Kyari had said Ezenwa was a notorious kidnapper who had committed untold atrocities before he was killed.
The police in Imo State accused Ezenwa, a former police corporal, of leading a syndicate of deadly abductors. He was killed during an exchange of gunfire along the Enugu-Owerri Expressway.
Kyari and his team members were said to have taken over Ezenwa’s properties worth billions of naira.
A hotel linked to Ezenwa in Enugu was estimated at N220,000,000. He also had two duplexes and eight blocks of flats worth a combined N180 million, according to the NHRC petition.
The victim, who was a police corporal before he resigned, also had a fleet of exotic vehicles. Other properties of Ezenwa have also been identified in Imo and Abia states, estimating his worth in billions.