CrimeNews

Hushpuppi:Trial of Abba Kyari’s co-defendants to last six days in U.S.

…prosecutors ask for postponement

Trial of three defendants in the Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abass-coordinated $1.1million fraud case will last for approximately six days, a court document states.
Six persons, including a top officer in the Nigeria police, Abba Kyari, were indicted for various roles in the scheme spearheaded by the former Nigerian Instagram celebrity widely known as Hushpuppi.
Three of the defendants – Rukayat Fashola (aka Morayo), Bolatito Agbabiaka (aka Bolamide), and Yusuf Anifowoshe (aka AJ and Alvin Johnson) – arrested in the United States and subsequently released on bail have asked for their trial to be postponed to May 2022.
But the rest of the defendants believed to be outside the U.S. – Mr Kyari, Abdulrahman Juma, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent – “remain at large”, prosecutors say.
The prosecutors along with the three available defendants filed an application for the postponement of the trial from October 2021 to 17 May, 2022 on Friday.
The application filed at the U.S. District Court of Central California stated that parties had estimated that six days would be required to conclude the three defendants’ trial.
Indicating that the trial of the available defendants may be separated from those of Mr Kyari and others still at large, the application states, “all defendants are joined for trial and a severance has not been granted.”
With no objection to the application from any of the parties, the judge, Otis Wright, is expected to grant the request to fix 17 May, 2022 for commencement of trial any time soon.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in court documents released in July that all six defendants including Mr Kyari were co-conspirators in the $1.1million fraud coordinated by a former Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Abbas Ramon, better known as Hushpuppi.
A Qatari businessperson was the victim of the scheme perpetrated between November 2019 and April 2020, FBI says.
Hushpuppi has pleaded to various fraud cases including the $1.1million scheme in another case before the U.S. district court in Central California. He is now awaiting sentencing.
Mr Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police, allegedly played a role in the scam by helping Hushpuppi to detain a disenchanted co-conspirator who wanted to warn the victim businessperson about the scam.
The former head of Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian police, with pending U.S. extradition request against him, was suspended in the wake of the revelation of the charges against him and five others.
The report of a probe into the case commissioned by the Inspector-General of Police has been submitted, but its findings and recommendations have yet to be made public officially.
With the delay, speculations are rife that efforts are being made to cover up for Mr Kyari in a bid to avert his extradition to the U.S.
Meanwhile, a United States court is considering postponing the trial date in the $1.1million fraud case involving Abba Kyari, a formerly celebrated Nigerian police officer, to 17 May , 2022.
This is after U.S. prosecutors along with three of the six defendants and their defence lawyers applied for the shifting of the earlier scheduled October dates on Friday.
A copy of the application obtained by newsmen cited various reasons including the need for additional time to prepare for the case and process huge documentary evidence.
Rukayat Fashola (aka Morayo), Bolatito Agbabiaka (aka Bolamide), and Yusuf Anifowoshe (aka AJ and Alvin Johnson), are the three defendants interested in the postponement of the trial from October to May 2022. All the three are on bail.
The rest of the defendants; Mr Kyari, Abdulrahman Juma and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent “remain at large”, the application stated.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in court documents released in July that all six defendants including Mr Kyari, were co-conspirators in the $1.1million fraud coordinated by a former Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Abbas Ramon, better known as Hushpuppi.
A Qatari businessperson was the victim of the scheme perpetrated between November 2019 and April 2020, FBI says.
Mr Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police, allegedly played a role in the scam by helping Hushpuppi to detain a disenchanted co-conspirator who wanted to warn the victim businessperson about the scam.
The former head of Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian police, with pending U.S. extradition request against him, was suspended in the wake of the revelation of the charges against him and five others.
The report of a probe into the case commissioned by the Inspector-General of Police has been submitted, but its findings and recommendations have yet to be made public officially.
With the delay, speculations are rife that efforts are being made to cover up for Mr Kyari in a bid to avert his extradition to the U.S.
While Mr Kyari and two others remain at large, the three other defendants along with the U.S. prosecutors said by virtue of the U.S. Speedy Court Trial Act, trial ought to start in October this year.
They noted that the court had earlier set a trial date of 12 October , 2021 for Ms Agbabiaka and Mr Anifowoshe, and 26 October , 2021 for Ms Fashola.
For various reasons cited in the postponement application, the court was asked to change the trial to 17 May , 2022 for the three defendants.

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