By Abubakar Mohd Kareto.
Abba Kyari, a 1997 Geography graduate of the University of Maiduguri, Abba grew up and attended his primary and secondary schools in Maiduguri.
He did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Akwa Ibom State in 1998 and joined the Nigeria Police Force as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in the year 2000.
16 years after, he has earned for himself the reputation of a diligent, no-nonsense and intelligence officer, such that the police authorities and the general public are proud of him. He always demonstrates to his bosses that he knew why he joined the force, and has kept at it.
After completing his training in the Police Academy Wudil Kano, Kyari was posted to Adamawa State where he served in Song, Girei and Numan Local Government areas with remarkable successes in crime bursting.
He stood out tall when he led the arrest of a notorious armed robber called, ‘Ndagi’ a.k.a Spirit. Spirit who held in Numan, the third biggest town in Adamawa State and held the area hostage for several years before he was eventually arrested since then, since then, there was no looking back for this intelligent officer with a sharp investigative mind and sometimes deadly courage.
Kyari joined the Police Mobile Force, popularly known as Mopol in 2005 and was there for about five years until his posting to Lagos Command October in 2010. He was deployed as the second in command (2/IC) to SARS and later became the OC SARS on January 15, 2011.
It was said that the then Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, who decorated him with several awards, resisted ceaseless attempts by the Police high Command to have Kyari redeployed out of Lagos. This was on account of his amazing achievements in combating the menace of armed robbery and kidnapping in Lagos.
Kyari has a long litany of exploits under his belt. He was instrumental in the arrest of the most notorious armed robber in the South West, Mr. Abiodun Egunjobi, otherwise known as Godogodo.
Godogodo was arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with some of his gang members. SARS recovered 42 AK47 rifles from the gang. Godogodo confessed to have killed over 150 Nigerians, including over 50 policemen during his 10 years reign as the kingpin of South West armed robbers.
There was also the arrest of Benjamin Osinachi a.k.a China and his entire gang of kidnappers based in Ghana, but operated in Nigeria. Their victims included a sitting High Court Judge, a sitting local government chairman, many expatriates, amongst others.
China and his gang members held South West residents by the jugulars for long. But Kyari with his men, were said to have deployed, “Advanced Technology and brought the kidnappers down.” Several AK47 rifles and thousands of ammunitions were recovered from the gang.
The defeat of Mr. Andrew and his gang of deadly kidnappers in Igando area of Lagos metropolis was spearheaded by Kyari and his men. SARS recovered 12 AK47 rifles, GPMGs and rocket launchers from the gang. Also during his tenure in Lagos, SARS arrested Chinansa and gang in the Ajangbadi area of Lagos. The SARS men recovered 11 AK47 rifles, rocket launchers and GPMGs from them.
There was also the shocking arrest of the General Overseer of a church located at Ejigbo. The General Overseer was part of the gang of robbers that attacked the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
The gang was later discovered to have operated at Ogun, Kwara and Rivers States. When they were eventually arrested, police recovered five AK47 rifles and GPMGs. Kyari was also instrumental in the arrest of the kidnappers of former Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo Iweala’s mother. The kidnappers used to operate in Delta, Edo and Port Harcourt.
This gang killed the former deputy Governor of Anambra State and kidnapped the wife of a sitting Supreme Court Judge. Kyari and his men also arrested the kidnappers that abducted Dangote’s cousin. Another gang that kidnapped a British citizen, Mr. Dickson Lee, along the International Airport Road, was also defeated.
The Briton was kidnapped moments after landing in Nigeria. There was the arrest of Obinna in Onitsha. Obinna was the most notorious sponsor and kingpin of robbers who specialized in hijacking trailers carrying containers.
SARS has also in its feather, arrested Emmanuel aka Arab. Arab and his gang members were described as deadly. 12 AK 47 rifles, including four AK47 rifles belonging to Policemen they killed during bank robbery in Kwara State were recovered from them. Kyari and his men led the rescue of a young Kwara female model in Delta State.
The policeman and his men also led in the rescue operation of Alhaji Fashola, owner of Kings Petroleum in Isheri Oshun, Lagos. Lagos residents cannot forget the arrest of the nanny who kidnapped three boys belonging to same parents.
The kids were called ‘the Orekoyas kids’. The nanny was arrested within three days that the case was transferred to Kyari and his men. Few days before Kyari got his posting letter to Abuja, he led the arrest of Lekki armed robbers who attacked the First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
They killed three policemen and a girl who was hawking fish, carted away money and escaped through the waterways. He also made success against a splintered member of Lekki bank robbery who recently attacked banks at Ijede and Ogolonto areas of Ikorodu, Lagos.
The gang escaped, as usual, through the waterways and Kyari deployed his Technology and arrested four of the Ikorodu bank robbers. Subsequently, the arrest of Vampire and his group of most deadliest gang of kidnappers in Nigeria in Imo State, the biggest of all is the arrest of Billionaire Kidnapper Evans and his Group the Most Notorious Kidnapping Kingpin in Lagos State, Foiled the Bombing of 3rd Mainland bridge in Lagos by arresting the Militant and explosive expert sent to bomb the bridge and recovered the heavy explosives in Lagos, arrested Turkish School and Ikorodu School Girls Kidnappers in Lagos and Ogun States, arrested the kidnappers of the CBN Governors wife in Delta State, the Kidnappers of Ambassador Bagudu Hirse in Kaduna, the Kidnappers of Sierra Leon Deputy High Commissioner along Abuja-Kaduna Express.
Arrest of the Killers of Colonel Yunusa in Kaduna, arrest of the Kidnappers of Dangote expatriates in Ogun State, arrest of the kidnappers of the mother of Governor Yahaya Bello Of Kogi State, arrest of Urban Gorilla and Group the Most Notorious Kidnapper in Rivers State, arrest of Sunday Aka Full Payment and his group of most Notorious Bank Robbers in the South South, arrest of Kidnappers of Oniba of Iba a First Class King in Lagos State, arrest of Killers of Oyo State member of House of Assembly, arrest of Killers of Reverent Adeyi in Otukpo Benue State, arrest of Kidnappers of Alhaji Salami in Abuja, arrest of the kidnappers of 2 ABTI American University of Nigeria Female Students in Abuja, arrest of the attackers of Nimbo Community in Enugu State and also arrested many Groups of notorious Fulani kidnappers terrorizing the Abuja-kaduna express way.
Kyari has received a lot of awards to mark his achievements. But to mention a few; there’s the IGP Commendation Award for Courage 2012, 2013, 2014. Governor’s Award for Gallantry, Leadership and Service excellence 2011, 2012, 2013.
There’s Commissioner of Police Commendation Award for Courage 2011. Best Anti- Crime Police Officer in West Africa from Security Watch Africa, Star Award from CRAN 2011, 2012, 2013 ,2014 and the Highest Of them all Presidential Medal of Courage 1/4/16.
A very shy guy, Abba wouldn’t talk about his work and how he does it, but his men and people who have come across him would attest to the fact that his best attribute is that he sees himself as a Team Leader and not a boss in the discharge of his duties and co-ordination of men and resources to fight crime and criminals. One of his boys told me that” “OC is a whiz kid. He is too much.
He understands technology and uses it to track down criminals. Also, he is a leader. He motivates us his men. We eat and drink with him. He attends our weddings, birthdays and naming ceremonies of our children and funeral of our relatives. In short, he is like a brother to us and leads from the front. He is always there for us and even teaches us how to key into technology while doing our work. In short, the OC is wonderful.”
So, here’s a brilliant officer who is also a great leader, who is ever ready to learn and teach others so the war against crime and criminals may succeed. No wonder the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, like his predecessor, was full of praises for Abba Kyari as he broke the news to Lagosians of the rescue of the three female students and the arrest of their kidnappers. He couldn’t be headed anywhere else but the top having stayed on top of his game from the moment he joined the Police.