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Court dismisses FG’s Request to Extradite Abba Kyari to USA for Trial, HURIWA Demands Justice

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Court dismisses move to stop Kyari's extradition to US - Ripples NigeriaBy Uche Amunike

The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has dismissed a suit filed by the federal government to permit the extradition of detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Abba Kyari to the United States of America to face trial for allegedly being involved with Instagram sensation and notorious internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

In the judgement delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, the court held that the extradition application tendered by the federal government, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, was incompetent and lacked merit.

He stated that he expected the AGF, Abubakar Malami, who is the Chief Law officer of the country, to be aware that the Extradition Act did not permit a defendant already facing trial before a competent court in the country to be surrendered to another country for trial.

Ekwo also questioned why the AGF requested for an extradition application, considering that he was the same person that issued FIAT to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to prosecute Abba Kyari on charges that are drug related.

His words: ‘The AGF could not say that he was not aware of the pending proceedings against the defendant, which was entered against him by the NDLEA’.

He maintained that the position of the law was that Abba Kyari ‘Shall not be surrendered until such case has been discharged either by his conviction or acquittal’, having been placed on trial before a court of competent jurisdiction in the country. That was why the suit was dismissed as incompetent and thereby, dismissed.

Recall that on June 3rd, after hearing from the Plaintiff’s lawyer, Pius Akutah, as well as Kyari’s lawyer, Nureni Jimoh, SAN, Justice Ekwo reserved the matter for judgment.

Meanwhile, even though the federal government stated that they had fulfilled all the conditions needed to have the embattled Kyari extradited to the USA to answer to criminal charges, Kyari on his part, challenged the legal competence of the extradition request.

He is presently in custody for drug- related charges and had informed the court that contrary to the allegations made on his person, he had sent a letter to both the AGF and Inspector General of Police (IGP), months before Hushpuppi was arrested, notifying them that he had already opened a channel of communication with the internet fraudster, in furtherance of an ongoing investigation.

On their part, however, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), described the suit as a grand hypocrisy.

According to a statement released by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the AGF should have known that Abba Kyari’s case was a fait accompli because, the drug related charges he was facing was brought against him by the NDLEA with the knowledge and blessing of the AGF, who could have ordered the extradition application to run its full course first.

Hear him: ‘The action of the AGF is condemnable since he deliberately filed another matter against Kyari before seeking his extradition when as a lawyer, he ought to know that it is a fait accompli since under the law, you can’t extradite someone already facing a separate charge in Nigeria.

‘It is important to ask the justice minister why he didn’t file the extradition suit about a year after Kyari was declared wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation until the NDLEA imbroglio. The whole drama, Nigerians know, was a planned script. HURIWA insists that justice be served on the matter to deter corrupt policemen like Kyari still in the force. The suspended DCP must not be protected but duly prosecuted. It is shocking that this same Attorney General of President Buhari is often in a mad rush to extradite southerners wanted in the USA but had to contrive a safe landing route for their man, Abba Kyari.’

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