A group of lawyers have demanded diligent investigation into allegations of fraud, abuse of office and human rights violations levelled against Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Abba Kyari by Mr Bako Waziri.
In a letter dated 20th September 2018 reproduced below, the concerned legal practitioners urged President Buhari and vice president Yemi Osinbajo to ensure thorough investigation into the matter in the interest of justice.
Allegations Of Fraud, Abuse Of Office And Human Rights Violations Against Mallam Abba-kyari, The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, The Nigeria Police And The Department Of State Services By Bako Waziri Abba-kyari And Dsp Tijani Bulama: A Call For Investigation.
We refer to the above subject.
We the undersigned are compelled to pen this open letter to you by our revulsion with the culture of corruption and impunity that has militated against our economic, political and social growth and our desire to live in a society of accountability and due process,
and not by any political or other parochial interest.
Mr. Bako Waziri and DSP Tijani Bulama, in an interview with Brekete Family Reality
Radio and TV, had levelled very serious allegations of fraud, abuse of power and
human rights violations against the Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari and other State Institutions and officials, particularly the erstwhile Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura as a person and the DSS as an institution, the
EFCC, AIG Monitoring Unit and the Nigeria Police. We respectfully enjoin Your Excellency to spare some time to watch the video on http://youtu.be/w2apF-HiKQ8 to
have a first-hand assessment of the allegations.
For ease of understanding, we have summarised the story of Mr. Waziri and DSP Bulama as follows:
1. That Mr. Bako Waziri Abba-Kyari, allege that he is a nephew to the Chief of Staff
and that the Chief of Staff grew up in Mr. Waziri’s father’s house.
2. That sometime in December 2015 the Chief of Staff promised to award a contract to Mr. Waziri for the supply of 15 Hilux vehicles to the State House.
3. That pursuant to a request by the Chief of Staff, Mr. Waziri paid the sum of the N300, 000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) purportedly being tender fee for
the contract to one Sani Ado who was introduced to Mr. Waziri by Abba Kyari as an official of the Bureau of Public Procurement.
4. That Mr. Waziri sold his family house and borrowed heavily from friends to raise a total sum of N29, 950,000 (Twenty-Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Thousand Naira) which was allegedly paid to the Abba Kyari through Sani Ado purportedly being contract fees.
5. That upon making the several payments, the contract was awarded to Mr. Waziri,
but that Abba Kyari collected the contract documents and promised to execute the contract and pay to Mr. Waziri 30% of the contract sum.
6. That the contract was allegedly executed by Abba Kyari, and that the sum of N300, 725, 000.00 (Three Hundred Million, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Five
Thousand Naira) was paid to Abba Kyari, but that no payment was made to Mr. Waziri by Abba Kyari. Mr. Waziri claims to have evidence of this payment.
7. That on being aware of the execution of the contract and consequent payments to Abba Kyari, he approached the Chief of Staff to be paid his 30% but that Abba
Kyari never paid him despite repeated promises.
8. That due to the refusal of Abba Kyari to pay Mr. Waziri his ‘entitlement’, he lodged a complaint with the EFCC, but that Abba Kyari prevailed on the EFCC, and the EFCC refused to investigate the complaint.
9. That due to the refusal of Abba Kyari to pay Mr. Waziri, he defaulted in paying his creditors from whom he had borrowed the monies that were allegedly paid to
Abba Kyari and one of his creditors made a complaint to DSP Tijani Bulama.
10.That DSP. Bulama discovered upon investigation that the BPE and CBN documents with which Abba Kyari allegedly induced Mr. Waziri to make the purported payments for the contract were forged.
11.That on further investigation, DSP Bulama discovered that Abba Kyari was behind the purported contract and informed Sani Ado via a text message of his intentions to make the transaction public.
12.That a day after DSP Bulama’s text message to Sani Ado, DSP Bulama was arrested in a commando-style by heavily armed DSS Operatives who invaded his
residence in over 10 trucks.
13.That DSP Bulama was confronted by Mr. Lawal Daura at the DSS office and made to understand that his arrest was in relation to his attempts to expose
14.That due to DSP Bulama’s refusal to exonerate Abba Kyari in return for promotions and other benefits, he was detained for a month and Mr. Waziri was
also arrested and detained for 2 weeks.
15.That upon his release from DSS custody, he was taken to the Inspector-General, Monitoring Unit of the Nigeria Police and was detained by the Police at Asokoro
Police Station incommunicado for another one month in degrading conditions.
16.That Mr. Waziri, upon his release from DSS custody, approached the EFCC to petition Abba Kyari but that an officer by the name Bashir instructed his
subordinates to remove Abba Kyari’s name from the petition and to limit it to Sani Ado.
17.That Mr. Waziri was later informed by his friends in the EFCC that based on a superior order, the EFCC could not even investigate Sani Ado because of his
relationship with Abba Kyari.
18.That notwithstanding the demonstrated unwillingness of the EFCC to investigate Abba Kyari and Sani Ado, he wrote a further petition to the EFCC which was
investigated by the Cyber Crimes Unit of the EFCC then headed by one Aisha Idris.
19.That due to the insistence of Aisha Idris to follow through with the investigation, she was removed from the Cyber Crime Unit and the EFCC has till date, refused to investigate the petition against Abba Kyari.
Your Excellency Sir, the above allegations, if true, reveal a very disturbing level of corruption
and impunity that should for no reason be accommodated and tolerated in
any government, particularly in a government that has declared a war on corruption, and Nigerians in good conscience had expected a thorough investigation. Contrary to the expectations of Nigerians, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement issued on 8th
September 2018 on behalf of the Presidency, has posed as Abba Kyari’s defence attorney by demonizing Mr. Waziri and DSP Bulama as political detractors who are out to soil the reputation of Mallam Abba Kyari. We believe that the persons/institutions
who are well placed to respond to these allegations are Mr. Abba Kyari, the EFCC, the Police and the DSS, and not the Presidency or Mr. Garba who were not in any way
subjects of the allegations. Your Excellency, this hasty defence by the Presidency of Abba Kyari suggests that the Presidency was either in cahoots with Abba Kyari (if the allegations are true) or simply tolerant of corruption involving those in the government.
We are not unmindful of the fact that Abba Kyari has mustered a semblance of denial, which when weighed against the details and gravity of the allegations, is rather
peripheral and cosmetic. It is curious that beyond blaming the scandal on political opponents and threatening legal action, neither Abba Kyari nor the Presidency has
responded to the substance of the allegations. Again, the admission of the existence of Mr. Waziri’s petition by the EFCC and the failure to offer any explanations on the reason behind the reluctance to investigate the petition for over a year lends some credence to
the allegations. We further note that the silence of the DSS and the Nigeria Police on the allegations of unlawful arrest and detention by a DSP of the Police put serious
question marks on the veracity of the denials by Abba Kyari and the Presidency.
Your Excellency, Nigerians need to know among others, whether Bako Waziri Abba-Kyari is indeed a nephew to the Chief of Staff, the relationship between Sani Ado
and the Chief of Staff, whether Tijani Bulama is indeed a Police Officer and whether he was arrested and detained by the DSS and the Police, whether Aisha Idris was at any point the head of the Cybercrime Unit of the EFCC, whether she was removed from that position for her insistence on investigating the Chief of Staff and the reason for the EFCC’s failure to investigate the petition against the Chief of Staff.
In our view, the above questions can only be resolved by an independent investigation
and not by presidential dismissal. Shielding and defending officials accused of corruption breeds impunity and erodes confidence in the government’s commitment to
fighting corruption. We reiterate the injunction of Chinua Achebe of blessed memory to the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari in his essay, The Trouble With Nigeria that to fight corruption, you must first clean your government
of anyone against whom the wind of corruption and scandal has blown, and that by doing this, you would have stood not only as the President of the Nation, but also as
the leader of the Nation. Your Excellency, great men like Lee Kuan Yew did not write their names in gold only by uplifting their people from poverty and advancing their
nations, but also by maintaining clean governments. To avoid the very strong impression that you are tolerant of corruption by your aides, you need to treat this case
with the seriousness it deserves.
For the sake of your integrity, but most importantly, for the sake of Nigeria, conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the weighty allegations and bring anyone found wanting to account.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria