The United States Bureau of Prisons said it will probe Nigerian convict, Ramon Abbas aka “Hushpuppi” currently serving an 11-year sentence, after a viral video that seemingly showed someone believed to be Abbas holding a party with others inside what was reported as his detention facility at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
“We take these matters seriously,” the prison facility told the Nigerian online newspaper, Peoples Gazette, Thursday night, adding that the “investigative department” would take charge of the inquiry to ascertain the facts— or lack thereof— about the viral video.
Recall that Hushpuppi’s ally and social media influencer, Tunde Adekunle, a.k.a Tunde Ednut, celebrated his birthday on January 22, 2024.
While fans and other celebrities joined the birthday across Nigeria and parts of the United States, a video surfaced showing a feast of different foods, including jollof rice, pasta and soda drinks, in what appeared to be a prison facility.
“Tunde Ednut, you can see that we are celebrating you in our own little way o,” said a voice which many Nigerians said belonged to Hushpuppi in the viral video on January 22.
“Fried rice is ready, Tunde Ednut birthday celebration. Jollof loading, pasta is here as you can see,” the voice continued as the person, who hid his face behind the camera, displayed a variety of delicacies on a white table.
According to The Gazette analysis, it showed a grey double bunk and a bed covered in white sheets. The features reminiscent of a prison interior, stoked rumours that Abbas was really having a swell time celebrating his friend’s birthday behind bars.
Nigerians familiar with Abbas’ voice insisted that he was the one in the viral video. Abbas, 41, was convicted for his role in a multimillion-dollar international fraud scheme in 2022.
Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai and extradited to the US to answer for his crimes.
In the first few years of his incarceration, Abbas enrolled in prison educational courses and also took an active role in cleaning prison facilities, becoming one of the correctional facility’s finest toilet cleaners, in a bid to earn a lighter sentence.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles on January 19 dismissed Abbas’s appeal to review and reduce his 11-year sentence on the grounds of his good behaviour during his stay so far in jail.