Kyari: Hero or villain
A lot has been written and said about the beleaguered head of Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari following FBI disclosures about his relationship with Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi. The findings by the American Federal Bureau of Investigations are shocking and mind-blowing for those who may have followed his career with keen interest. When a crime nut is hard to crack, just beckon to the super cop, Abba Kyari. You can be sure he would deliver. However, from the picture of him being painted many a commentator is seeing General Naaman in him who must go to River Jordan and wash himself to be whole. Naaman was commander of the army for the king of Aram, and was a great man in his master’s sight. He was a brave soldier. Through him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. Alas, Naaman was a leper. And the Prophet of Samaria Elisha said to him when he arrived with his horses and chariots that he must go to River Jordan and deep himself in it seven times.
There is a long list of high-wired crimes which to his credit Kyari busted. Those who are pressing that he must go to River Jordan do so for several reasons. An officer of his status and diligence can’t but step on toes. There are those he may have locked up who are seeking their own pound of flesh. His ordeal, instigated by the FBI, they believe is unassailable. There are those who believe in him and are therefore dazed by the amount of cobwebs that have been raked from his ornate building. As for me, I am keeping an open mind. The FBI documents which have been widely circulated are sufficiently entrapping. The FBI even hints that what is in public domain is merely a tip of the ice bag. FBI says in the 169-page document : “This affidavit is intended to show merely that there is sufficient probable cause for the requested complaint and arrest warrant and does not purport to set forth all of my knowledge of the government’s investigation into this matter.” Even then, I am unable to as yet join the stone-throwing bandwagon. First, these are facts, the document contains facts. But as every reporter is taught in journalism school, facts are not yet the truth; truth is proven facts. It is in the court that facts become truths if they are proven.
If all investigations by the FIB are infallible, then there would be no courts in the United States. There is more to it that should caution us in joining the clapping and jeering crowd. As the case stands and until Kyari is convicted, it is a reputational issue also. The commandment of the Lord is: “Thou shall not kill.” Until this age of enlightenment spreading borne out of the Age of the Holy Spirit man saw the killing as only limited to the killing of the physical body. According to the higher knowledge available for mankind today, the commandment covers killing or doing harm to a person’s name or reputation. Since no name is an accident—each person is the name he bears— killing of a man’s name is tantamount to killing the real man, the man’s essence and the case of the perpetrator is worse than that of murderers in the Beyond. The consequences of physical killing are bad enough, they are worse for those who kill a man’s name or reputation. It is indeed more severely punished than physical killing.
In my reflections on the Kyari saga, many questions rushed to my mind. I have had to ask myself whether police officers in intelligence are completely banned from interactions with criminals or potential criminals. Is the prohibition limited to known criminals or it covers also budding or potential criminals as well? If they are barred how do they do their work? If they are not barred, where do they draw the line? The code of conduct for police officers states as follows:
“Police officers will be responsible for their own professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve their level or knowledge and competence. Police officers will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to the force or themselves. A police officer’s character and conduct while off duty must always be exemplary, thus maintaining a position of respect in the community in which he or she lives or serves. The officer’s personal behaviour must be beyond reproach.”
AELE Monthly Law Journal reports some cases on Association with known criminals. There is Flosi v. Board of Fire & Police Cmsnrs of Rock Falls ( 111 App. 1991). I quote it as reported on the internet:
“In Illinois, an appellate overturned the termination of an assistant chief of police for conduct unbecoming by associating with known addict.
“The mayor alleged that the officer had contact repeatedly with the “Snow Queen” a local woman with a reputation for using and selling cocaine. The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners appointed by the mayor, found theta the association constituted conduct unbecoming an officer and terminated the accused.
“Testimony revealed that after her arrest in 1987, the assistant chief had informed a state police lieutenant that he was cultivating the woman as a confidential source. During the next six months the assistant chief received about 30 calls a week from the woman. The assistant denied any misconduct and testified that he had cultivated other informants in the same manner, i.e. to befriend a female informant suffering from ‘psychological problems’. He identified other specific instances which he had successfully used this method.
“A three-man appellate court reversed the termination, holding that the termination was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence. The appellate court said the whole area of how to properly deal with an informant is problematic and officers had considerable leeway. There was no department policy, procedure or directive on how to develop an informant. During the pertinent six-month period, the assistant chief was not warned, reprimanded or instructed to change his relationship with the woman. The court noted that the ‘first hint of disapproval …did not occur until the mayor file the instant complaint. The assistant chief was ordered reinstated with back pay.”
The second case I am citing also in the US goes as follows: “A police lieutenant was fired for taking a trip to Europe with a Chicago Mafioso, Anthony Accardo, aka ‘Joe Batters’ and ‘Big Tuna.’ Accardo purportedly controlled as many as 10,000 bookie joints but never spent a night in jail. Management charged the lieutenant, a childhood friend of Accardo, with violating Rule 309: ‘No member or employee of the Department shall associate or fraternize with persons known to have criminal records.” He also was charged with violating rule 374 (5) by engaging in ‘conduct unbecoming a policeman in that he brought disgrace, disrepute and ridicule upon police department by openly and flagrantly travelling from the United States to and through Europe with the said Accardo who was alleged to be a person of ill-repute served by the Chicago Police department.
On appeal the lieutenant argued that it was unreasonable to prohibit a police officer from associating with another person when the only infraction was a few misdemeanor convictions, the latest of which was 26 years before the trip.”
The Illinois Supreme Court waded in saying: “Tested by these standards we are of the opinion that the rule is invalid. The very fact that the language of the rule is susceptible to the varying interpretations put upon it by the parties demonstrates its vagueness. We agree with the plaintiff that the rule is so vague that persons of common intelligence must necessarily guess its meaning and differ as to its application.” The second charge of conduct unbecoming stuck. The police commissioner testified that Accardo’s reputation was bad, and based his opinion upon police files and records, conversations with police officers, from newspaper items and commentators on radio and television. Moreover, Accardo had declined to answer 172 questions at a Senate Committee hearing on the ground that his answers might implicate him. He testified the lieutenant’s trip to Europe with Accardo brought disgrace, humiliation and disrespect to the Chicago Police department and the City of Chicago.
“The lieutenant admitted making the trip with Accardo, but testified that he paid all of his own and his wife’s expenses for the trip. He denied knowing anything about Accardo’s reputation. He testified that he had read various newspaper accounts of a detrimental nature concerning Accardo but that he did not believe them.”
Where Kyari may have problem is in proving that his association with Hushpuppi was not Naira driven. As an American officer said, “There are many dedicated officers who are career motivated and not dollar driven.” Kyari must be prepared to satisfactorily prove that the array exotic cars published in his Facebook handle the N8 million said to have sent to him by Ramon Abass are not ill-gotten proceeds of association with him and other men of doubtful characters. The public may not know enough about detectives conduct their affairs. We may not know enough about how far a diligent officer can go in order to either use the association to cultivate informers or to build a cast-iron case against a criminal and when he is to draw the line. The investigations on going will hopefully reveal all that and that his actions are not driven by motives. All in all the higher laws governing Creation are ever active in the lives of all human beings. Human actions are woven into a carpet of fate by beings in absolute loyalty to the Most High. There are those of them that weave actions and there are those that weave and tender thoughts. Man can be irreproachable outwardly, but base inwardly. These are minutely recorded by the beings in reference. Ignorance of these laws is no protection for anybody. Ultimately it is when the harvest is due that the question will be answered: Is Abba Kyari a hero or a villain?