The federal government has commenced move that would pave the way for the extradition of the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, to answer to fraud allegations in the United States of America.
Kyari, a once celebrated officer of the Nigerian Police, is currently enmeshed in various criminal allegations for which he has previously won many accolades for fighting.
Following the arrest and imprisonment of Abass Ramon aka hushpuppi over a $1.1milion wire fraud and Ramon’s alleged implication of Kyari, who was then Commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), the United States had requested for the extradition of Kyari to tell his alleged level of involvement in the crime.
However, months after the extradition request, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) has now disclosed that the federal government has filed an application for the extradition of Kyari before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Malami stated that the application which followed a request by the diplomatic representative of the American embassy in Abuja, was filed under the Extradition Act and it is marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022.
Only recently the AGF while speaking on a television programme, assured that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would extradite the once ‘supercop’to the United States to answer to the fraud charge filed against him, hushpuppi and four others of if the government was convinced to do so.
Speaking on the extradition application, the Minister said it was “for the surrender of Abba Kyari, who is a subject in a superceding three counts indictment”.
He expressed satisfaction that the offence in respect of which Kyari’s surrender was being made was not political nor was it trivial.
Malami added that the request for the surrender of Kyari was not made to persecute or punish him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions but in good faith and the interest of justice.
He said Kyari, “if surrendered, will not be prejudiced at his trial and will not be punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty, by reason of his race, nationality or political opinions”.
Malami explained that having regard to all the circumstances in which the offence was committed, it will not be unjust or oppressive, or be too severe a punishment, to surrender him.
Malami said he was also satisfied that Kyari had been accused of the offence for which his surrender was sought.
He noted that there was no criminal proceeding pending against Kyari in Nigeria for the same offence.
Although the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had last week obtained a court order to detain Kyari for two weeks, they are yet to file charges against him.
Kyari was arrested by the Police on February 12 and handed over to the agency for investigation over allegations bordering on hard drug syndication.
In April 2021, a jury filed an indictment against Kyari with the approval of the US District Court and demanded Kyari stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.
Consequently, the American embassy requested for Kyari ’s extradition saying, “on April 29, 2021, based on the indictment filed by the Grand Jury and with the approval of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a Deputy Clerk of the court issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari.
“The arrest warrant remains valid and executable to apprehend Kyari for the crimes with which he is charged in the indictment.
“Kyari is wanted to stand trial in the United States for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and identity theft.
“Kyari is the subject of an indictment in case number 2:21-cr-00203 (also referred to as 2:21-mj-00760 and 2:21-cr-00203-rgk), filed April 29, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.”