Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, the head of a Nigerian Internet fraud ring, has warned disgraced police officer Abba Kyari that he might harm him, according to the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Mr. Abbas claimed that his involvement in Mr. Kyari’s indictment, which led to the demise of Nigeria’s most renowned police officer, had placed him in grave danger and prevented him from returning to Nigeria after serving his sentence in the United States.
He presented the pleas in a memo to Judge Otis Wright asking for a review of the sentencing years that had been requested by the prosecutors after Mr. Abbas admitted to multimillion-dollar fraud last year. According to a court document seen by Peoples Gazette, Mr. Abbas hired an American defense lawyer named Louis Shapiro to file the memorandum on his behalf on September 5.
The prosecution has requested that Mr. Abbas serve up to 11 years in prison in addition to paying $1.7 million in restitution and $500,000 in fines. The filing also recommended an additional three years of supervised release following the completion of the 11-year sentence.
The defense, led by Mr. Shapiro, responded to the demand by arguing that Mr. Abbas had changed since his arrest in Dubai in June 2020, extradition to the U.S. that same month, and ongoing remand in custody. The defense, therefore, asked the court to hand Hushpuppi between 35-41 months in prison.
On September 21, Mr. Wright is anticipated to hear the case and determine the length of the sentence. “Once this case is resolved and Mr. Abbas is released, he will not be able to return to Nigeria,” Mr. Shapiro wrote in the counter request. “Abubakar Kiyari, a Nigerian politician and police commissioner, operates a death squad. Kyari was indicted in the Juma case by the government’s investigation into this case.”
“Mr. Abbas hopes to move his family out of Nigeria when he gets out of prison. The looming threat of Mr. Kiyari’s supporters, as well as intense media harassment, has forced his family to continue moving to secret locations within Nigeria.
“They must rent different apartments simultaneously while continuously changing telephone lines. Additionally, his children face the possibility of going through their formative years without their father,” Mr. Shapiro added.
Mr. Abbas pleaded guilty in April 2021 to charges of Internet fraud, and money laundering, among others. The FBI indicted Mr. Kyari as part of the syndicate about the same time. Mr. Kyari, hitherto Nigeria’s most famous and decorated police officer, was immediately suspended as a deputy police commissioner while the extradition process continued from the U.S. side.
Last week, a Nigerian court ruled that Mr. Kyari should not be extradited because he was already charged with more grievous crimes of drug trafficking by the Nigerian anti-narcotics authorities.