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Court dismisses FG’s case seeking to extradite Abba Kyari to USA

Court dismisses FG’s case seeking to extradite Abba Kyari to USA

The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo on Monday, dismissed Federal Government’s case seeking to extradite the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari to the United States of America.

Ekwo, in his judgment on Monday held that the extradition request filed by the Attorney General of the Federation AGF, Abubakar Malami, on behalf of the Federal Government lacked merit and liable to dismissal.

The Judge specifically held that the Federal Government’s request for extradition was “strange, incompetent and bereft of merit”.

The federal government had filed the extradition charges against Kyari to pave way for his extradition to America to answer fraud allegations in the United States of America.

He 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.

“Malami being the Chief Law Officer of the country, ought to be aware that the Extradition Act, forbids the surrendering of a defendant that is already facing trial before a competent court in the country,” Ekwo said.

The court wondered why the AGF approached the court with the extradition application when he was equally the one that issued Fiat to the National Drug Law Enforcement, NDLEA, to prosecute DCP Kyari on drug related charges.

“The AGF could not say that he was not aware of the pending proceeding against the defendant which was entered against him by the NDLEA,” he

He said the law was clear that Kyari, having been put on trial before a court of competent jurisdiction in the country, “shall not be surrendered until such case has been discharged either by his conviction or acquittal”.

Consequently, the court held that the extradition request was incompetent and deserved to be dismissed.

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Justice Ekwo had on June 3, reserved the matter for judgment, after he heard from Federal Government’s lawyer, Pius Akutah, and that of Kyari, Nureni Jimoh.

While the Federal Government maintained that it had met all conditions precedent for the suspended DCP to be extradited to the US to answer to a criminal charge that is pending against him, on the other hand, Kyari, challenged the legal competence of the extradition request against him.

Kyari, who was arrested on the 14th of February , this year, is currently in prison custody for drug related charges.

He had earlier told the court that contrary to the allegation against him, he had some months before Hushpuppi was arrested, sent a letter to both the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, notifying them that he had opened a channel of communication with the suspected internet fraudster, in furtherance of an ongoing investigation.

Kyari is wanted in the U.S. to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

A grand jury had in April 29, 2021, filed an indictment against him with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, afterwhich a warrant wasj issued for his arrest.

Hushpuppi had earlier pleaded guilty to the alleged $1.1million fraud charge against him, even as the US Attorney’s Office for Central District of California, Los Angeles, revealed that he will be sentenced in September, this year.

Recall that the Police has arrested and handed over Abba Kyari , a deputy Commissioner of Police DCP, and four others over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA

He was arrested few hours after he was declared wanted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA over his involvement in a 25 kilograms Cocaine deal by the Nigerian Police Force, according to a statement by the NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi.