By Uche Amunike
After considering the request made by the United States of America for the suspended Commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, the Federal government has approved Kyari’s extradition to face charges bordering on fraud in the United States of America.
This approval was made known by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) as he filed an application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022, before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, after the request was made by the Diplomatic Representative of the American Embassy in Abuja.
According to Malami, the request from the United States authorities is for Abba Kyari to be surrendered, as he is a subject in a superseding three-count indictment. He made this known weeks after he confirmed in an interview on Channels Television that talks were ongoing between the Nigerian and United States governments over the pending charges against Kyari in America.
He also indicated that tangible grounds were already established to kick off against Mr Kyari, based on all he was accused of.
Recall that in July 2021, the United States government listed the celebrated Police Officer, Kyari as one of the accomplices of United Arab Emirates (UAE), Instagram celebrity, Raman Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, in a multi-million dollars money laundering fraud.
Hushpuppi presently awaits judgement after he pleaded guilty to the charges in a different case at the Central District Court of Central District of California, while Kyari is among people listed as Hushpuppi’s conspirators in the fraud charge approved by an American Grand Jury.
Interestingly, way before the Federal Government approved Kyari’s extradition, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had named him in a 25kg cocaine deal, early this year while he was still in suspension over the role he played in Hushpuppi’s case.
In reaction, when the Federal Government approved Kyari’s extradition, the Chief Judge of the Federation expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the offence for which the United States demanded Kyari to surrender was not made to persecute him because of his nationality, religion or political opinions, but rather, in good faith and for the sake of Justice.
His words: ‘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’.
Below, are the charges against Kyari:
‘Count one: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years’
‘Count two: Conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1956(h), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years’.
‘Count three: Aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting that offence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A(a)(1) and 2(a), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years’.