Born on November 17, 1938, Kyari was a highly influential Nigerian politician who until his death was the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

A Kanuri from Borno state, not much is known about his early life. In 1980, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Warwick, and also received a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge.

In 1983, he was called to the Nigerian Bar after attending the Nigerian Law School. In 1984, he obtained a Masters in law from the University of Cambridge. He later attended the International Institute for Management Development in Laussane, Switzerland and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.

Kyari worked for the law firm Fani-Kayode and Sowemimo for some time after his return to Nigeria.

From 1988 to 1990, he was Editor with the New Africa Holdings Limited Kaduna.In 1990, he served as a Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in Borno state.

From 1990 to 1995, Kyari was the secretary to the board of African International Bank Limited. Kyari was an executive director in charge of management services at the United Bank for Africa, and was later appointed the Chief Executive Officer. In 2002, he was appointed a board director of Unilever Nigeria, and later served on the board of Exxon Mobil Nigeria.

In August 20015, Abba Kyari was appointed Chief of Staff to President Buhari and until his demise had risen to be one of the most influential people in the current administration. Kyari died in a Lagos hospital on 17 April 2020,he died from complications related to Covid-19.