Usman Kyari, younger brother of embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, on Saturday deleted pictures of himself posing with several luxury vehicles or in apartments on his Instagram handle.
Usman’s social media posts began attracting attention on Friday following his elder brother’s indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for alleged involvement in a $1.1m Internet fraud perpetrated by a self-confessed celebrity fraudster, Ramon Abbas, alias Hushpuppi.
An FBI criminal complaint lodged at the United States District Court in California had listed Hushpuppi and Kyari among six suspects indicted in the international fraud conspiracy.
Usman’s page, with 2052 followers as of Friday evening was replete with examples of luxury living such as a fleet of cars and photos of him clad in fine attires.
In one of the photos, he was seen posing with a luxury Toyota SUV and, in others, with Mercedes Benz SUVs.
Usman took to his Instastories on Friday to defend his brother over the bribery allegations against him, citing the position of Femi Fani-Kayode, ex-minister of aviation.
The Instagram pictures went missing on his page on Saturday.
Kyari, who is popularly known as ‘super cop,’ has received rapid promotions and a commendation from the National Assembly for his exploits in crime fighting.
But an unsealed 29-page court document seen by The Nation showed that he had been under investigation by the FBI for his alleged link to Hushpuppi.
The DCP, who is wanted in the United States following an arrest warrant obtained by the FBI, denied Hushpuppi’s bribery claim, stating that he did not receive any money as alleged.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) said last Wednesday that it had ordered an internal probe of the allegations against Kyari.
It was gathered that Hushpuppi has been made aware that he is to be deported after he is sentenced in October.
This followed a plea agreement he entered with the prosecution after pleading guilty to money laundering and internet fraud-related charges, among others.
But it is unclear where he will be deported to Nigeria or the Caribbean.
This is because Hushpuppi has dual citizenship.
He acquired a St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis citizenship and a passport for $40,000 and $10,000 cash in February 2020.
“Defendant (Hushpuppi) and his counsel have discussed the fact that, and defendant understands that, if defendant is not a United States citizen, the conviction in this case makes it practically inevitable and a virtual certainty that defendant will be removed or deported from the United States,” the court document stated.
It noted that Hushpuppi may also be denied United States citizenship and admission to the United States in the future.
The document added: “Defendant understands that while there may be arguments that defendant can raise in immigration proceedings to avoid or delay removal, removal is presumptively mandatory and a virtual certainty in this case.
“Defendant further understands that removal and immigration consequences are the subject of a separate proceeding and that no one, including his attorney or the Court, can predict to an absolute certainty the effect of his conviction on his immigration status.”
Hushpuppi, 37, is known for posting photos of his lavish lifestyle on Instagram, where he has 2.5m followers.
Court documents filed in California said Hushpuppi’s crimes cost victims almost $24m (£17m) in total.
In one scheme, Hushpuppi attempted to steal more than $1.1m from someone who wanted to fund a new children’s school in Qatar, the documents said.
Court records unsealed last week show he pleaded guilty to this charge on 20 April.
The documents state that between 18 January 2019 and 9 June 2020, Hushpuppi and others targeted multiple victims and laundered the illicit funds in banks all over the world.
They add that he could face up to 20 years in prison, and will need to “pay full restitution to the victim(s)”.
Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai, where he lived, in June 2020 and moved to the US in unclear legal circumstances.