AGF Confirms Commencement Of Process For Kyari’s Extradition
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has commenced the extradition process for the suspended police officer, Abba Kyari.
This was confirmed in a statement by Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Thursday. He said this followed the receipt of the request.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice received the extradition request in respect of the officer in question.
“After thorough studies and reviews of issues regarding the application and components thereof, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice processed the application and forwarded same to the relevant authorities for further necessary action,” the statement read.
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While adding that the extradition process is multi-faceted, he said the “submission of request from the concerned party to the relevant authorities constitutes one of such components”.
On Tuesday, Malami had filed an application before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja for Kyari’s extradition. The application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022 was filed under the Extradition Act.
According to the AGF, the application followed a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.
The approval for Kyari’s extradition is the latest turn in the embattled officer’s case. He is wanted to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.
Kyari was accused of conniving with Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi to commit the crime. In April, a grand jury had filed an indictment against him with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
According to the three charges filed against him and others, Kyari was alleged to have been part of a scheme led by Hushpuppi to defraud a businessperson in Qatar between November 2019 and April 2020.
The police officer’s alleged involvement in the scheme, court documents showed, was to aid the social media celebrity to detain one of the aggrieved conspirators based in Nigeria who threatened to spill the beans about the scheme.
In the wake of the accusations, the Nigerian Police Force suspended Kyari and stripped him of the leadership of the Intelligence Response Unit (IRT) after which a probe, marred with controversies, started.
Last month, Kyari was arrested after officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) declared him wanted for being a part of a drug cartel, a claim the embattled police officer refuted.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja also rejected a bail application from Kyari, weeks after his detention.
Justice Ekwo in a ruling said the application had been overtaken by events following an order of a sister court (Justice Zainab Abubakar), granting the NDLEA’s prayers to detain Kyari for another 14 days to enable it to conclude its investigation.
According to the judge, the sister court, which gave the order in favour of NDLEA on February 22, was a court of coordinate jurisdiction. He, however, said, he was inclined to hear Kyari’s fundamental enforcement rights suit with the urgency it deserves after the expiration of the 14-day court order.
He subsequently adjourned until March 15 to hear his application on his fundamental right enforcement.
Among other demands, Kyari is praying the court to order his release on bail to help him take care of his deteriorating health condition. He told the court that he is suffering from “diabetes; high blood pressure and severe heart disease that may cause death”.