Wife of convicted fraudster Ramon Abass aka Hushpuppi and some imams have written to a US court pleading for leniency for the self-confessed international fraudster.
One of the imams wrote from Lagos, while the other wrote from Borno.
The letter by the Imam of Imisi-Oluwa Mosque, Lagos, Rasaq Olopede, described Hushpuppi as “a frequent donator” to the mosque.
In another letter, Hudu Abdulrasak of Madrasatul Ahlul-Bait Islamiya, in Maiduguri, Borno State, also paid glowing tributes to Hushpuppi for his philanthropic gestures to the needy.
Hushpuppi, a Muslim, was born and raised in Lagos before his sojourn to Malaysia and then to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirate (UAE), where he was arrested and flown to the US in June 2020.
But his account of his personal history detailed in his court filings gave no hint of how he might have been connected to the Maiduguri community.
Premium Times obtained copies of their letters on Monday ahead of Hushpuppi’s sentencing.
The letters were filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California on November 4 in support of Huspuppi’s earlier plea for light sentence.
Hushpuppi, 40, had personally sent a hand-written letter to the judge, Otis Wright, saying he was a changed person, and promising to make full restitution to victims of his criminal activities in excess of the benefits he derived from the crimes.
In her undated letter pleading for mercy on behalf of her husband, Hushpuppi’s wife and mother of his youngest child, Regina Manneh, said his absence from home had left a void in the family.
Ms Manneh is believed to have lived with Hushpuppi and their son, Raymond, in Dubai. Hushpuppi’s two older children lived with their separate mothers in the US and United Kingdom.
Ms Manneh said she and her four-year-old son were on a visit to see relatives in Sweden when Hushpuppi was arrested in June 2020.
“When I heard about his arrest, my son and I were in Sweden visiting family. Unfortunately, there was a lockdown due to Covid and before we got back to Dubai, he was already extradited to the USA so there was no chance for Raymond to see his father,” she wrote.
Hushpuppi’s incarceration, she said, “has had a huge impact on us as a family but mostly on our 4year-old son.”
She said her plea for mercy for Hushpuppi was not just for herself, but “for my son and his family”.