By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Lagos/
LAGOS- PLANS by the federal government of Nigeria through the Attorney General of the federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami to have embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police DCP Abba Kyara extradited to the US to answer money laundry charges pressed against him by the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI, suffered a setback Monday as a Federal High Court sitting before Justice Iyang Ekwo in Abuja dismissed a suit instituted by the Federal Government seeking to extradite the officer.
The learned Justice in his judgment held that the Extradition request filed by the Attorney General of the Federation AGF on behalf of the Federal Government lacked merit and liable to dismissal. The Federal Government filed the extradition charges against Kyari to pave way for his extradition to America to answer fraud allegations in the United States of America.
Justice Ekwo however, held that the Federal Government has no basis to file the Extradition request having put Abba Kyari on trial in Nigeria in relation to the allegations against him in America. Ekwo noted that the AGF as the Chief Law officer of the country could not pretend to be unaware of the pending drug case against Abba Kyari by the NDLEA.
The Judge said it was clear that having put Kyari on trial in Nigeria before a court of competent jurisdiction, he (Kyari), “shall not be surrendered to the USA until such case has been discharged either by his conviction or acquittal”. He held that by his position as the AGF, Malami ought to know that the Extradition Act, under which the request was rooted, forbade the surrendering of a defendant that is already standing trial in his country of origin before a competent court.
He wondered why the AGF initiated the proceedings in the first place after issuing a fiat to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to prosecute Kyari on drug related charges.
Consequently, the court held that the extradition request was incompetent and deserved to be dismissed.
It will be recalled that the court had on June 3, reserved the matter for judgment, after it heard from FG’s lawyer, Mr. Pius Akutah, and that of the embattled DCP, Mr. Nureni Jimoh, SAN.
The AGF, Abubakar Malami filed an extradition application at the Federal High Court in Abuja following a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja. The request from the U.S. authorities, according to Mr Malami, is “for the surrender of Abba Alhaji Kyari, who is a subject in a superseding three counts indictment”.
The U.S. government, in July 2021, named Kyari among co-conspirators of Roman Abass, (aka Hispuppi), an Instagram celebrity, in a multi-million dollars money laundering fraud. On his part, Hushpuppi had pleaded guilty to the charges in a separate case at the Central District Court of Central District of California. Mr Kyari is named among five of Hushpuppi’s conspirators in a $1.1 million fraud charge approved by a U.S. grand jury.
COPYWRIGHT CRIMEWORLD: All rights reserved. It is an offense to either broadcast, reproduce, rewrite, publish and redistribute this material partly or wholly without the express permission from Frontpage CrimeWorld Publishers Nigeria Limited, Publishers of CrimeWorld Magazines and weekly newspapers