U.S. Bureau of Prisons to probe Hushpuppi over viral feast at Fort Dix facility
The United States Bureau of Prisons says it will probe convict Ramon “Hushpuppi” Abbas, currently serving an 11-year sentence, after a viral video that seemingly showed someone believed to be Mr Abbas holding a feast with others inside what was reported as his detention facility at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
“We take these matters seriously,” the prison facility told 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.
Mr Abbas’ ally and social media influencer, Tunde Adekunle, alias Tunde Ednut, celebrated his birthday on January 22.
While fans and other celebrities joined the birthday across Nigeria and parts of the U.S., a video surfaced showing a feast of different foods, including jollof rice, pasta and soda drinks, in what appeared to be a jail 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 Mr Abbas in the video that went viral on September 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.
The video, which The Gazette analysed, showed a grey double bunk and a bed covered in white sheets. The features reminiscent of a prison interior, stoked rumours that Mr Abbas was really having a swell time celebrating his friend’s birthday behind bars.
Nigerians familiar with Mr Abbas’ voice insisted that he was the one in the viral video. Mr Abbas, 41, was convicted for his role in a multimillion-dollar international fraud scheme in 2022.
Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai before and extradited to the U.S. to answer for his crimes.
In the first few years of his incarceration, Mr 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 Mr 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.
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