The Police suspended Kyari in July, 2021 after the United States declared him wanted for his alleged involvement in a $1.1m scam carried out by a notorious internet fraudster, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi.
A Special Investigation Panel was later set up to investigate the allegation and possibly establish links between the senior police officer and Hushpuppi.
Sequel to the report of the investigation, Malami had in January stated that Kyari was indicted for money laundering by the Panel which probed his alleged links to Hushpuppi.
He urged the police to commence a probe against the embattled officer for allegedly receiving 33 proceeds of crime.
The Minister also issued a legal advice instructing the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, to conduct further investigations, noting that a prima facie case of money laundering had been established against the embattled officer.
In a letter dated February 4, 2022, with reference number, DPPA/LA/814/21, the Minister appeared to have absolved Kyari of any culpability, saying there was nothing linking the Hushpuppi gang to the officer.
The letter, penned on behalf of the AGF by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, said the evidence contained in the case diary “was not sufficient to indicate or show that the said monies (N279mn) were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin.”
The letter read in part, “I am directed to inform you that after a careful study of the said response wherein you stated that ‘the monies have been traced to Zenith Bank account no. 2255416115 belonging to Usman Ibrahim Waziri; Guaranty Trust Bank account no. 0130665392 belonging to Adekoya Sikiru; Zenith Bank account no. 2080537566 belonging to Hussein Ala and other funds went to Sharon Festus. The monies were withdrawn and utilised by the aforementioned account holders and the lady.
“It is our view that the above response has not linked the suspect, DCP Abba Kyari, to the offence of money laundering as the evidence contained in the case diary is not sufficient to indicate or show that the said monies were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari to disguise their origin, more so that the aforementioned recipients or receivers exonerated him in their statements as having nothing to do with the monies.”
Reacting to the development, Malami, in a statement by his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu on Sunday March 13, 2022, said the media reports suggesting a contradiction in his stance on the matter show a misunderstanding and misconception of the issue.
“The office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice’s stance is that no conclusion has been reached in the direction of absence of evidence relating to the first report,” he said.
“The issues were raised for further investigation with a view to cover the field in investigation with a view to arrive at an informed decision.”
Recall that Kyari is currently facing eight counts of conspiracy, obstruction and dealing in cocaine, and related offences, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The other defendants in the case are four members of the IRT, Sunday Ubia, Bawa James, Simon Agirigba and John Nuhu.
The two other suspects arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, were also listed as defendants.
The two other defendants arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, have pleaded guilty to the charges.