Abba Kyari originated from kanuri in Borno State.
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 master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge. He later attended the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.
Kyari was married to the sister-in-law of Ibrahim Tahir, and had four children.
Kyari worked for the law firm Fani-Kayode and Sowemimo for some time after his return to Nigeria.
In 1990, he served as a Commissioner for Forestry and Animal Resources in Borno State.
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 August 2015, Kyari was appointed Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
On March 24, 2020, it was made public that Kyari tested positive for Corona Virus on March 23, following an official trip to Germany nine days before.
Kyari died at First Cardiology Consultants Hospital, Lagos on 17 April 2020, he died from complications related to COVID-19.