…DCP, 2 other co-defendants ‘remain at large’
The trial of three defendants in the Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abass-coordinated $1.1 million fraud case will last for approximately six days, according to court documents.
Six persons, including a top officer in the Nigeria Police, DCP 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 (a.k.a Bolamide), and Yusuf Anifowoshe (a.k.a 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 – DCP Kyari, Abdulrahman Juma and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent – ‘remain at large”, prosecutors said.
The prosecutors, along with the three available defendants filed an application
at the U.S. District Court of Central California, for the postponement of the trial from October 2021 to 17 May, 2022 on Friday. The application stated that parties had estimated that six days would be required to conclude the three defendants’ trial.
“The parties estimate that the trial in this matter will last approximately 6 days,” the application said.
Indicating that the trial of the available defendants may be separated from those of 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 Kyari were co-conspirators in the $1.1million fraud coordinated by a former Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Abbas Ramon, better known as Hushpuppi.
Recall that the former head of the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police, with a 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 Kyari in a bid to avert his extradition to the U.S.