Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) says the United States of America cannot extradite Nigeria’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari from the country without due process.
He, however, added that the police authorities in Nigeria should initiate urgent disciplinary action against the policeman.
A US District Court of California had issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari over his role in a fraud committed by notorious internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi.
SaharaReporters gathered that Otis Wright of the District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to arrest the Nigerian police chief and produce him in the United States for his role in a $1.1 million fraud.
US Court documents showed that American prosecutors first sought a court warrant to arrest Kyari on February 12, 2021.
Another warrant was requested on April 29, 2021.
It was further gathered that Judge Wright’s permission for the FBI to arrest Kyari and hold him in US custody was unsealed on July 26, 2021.
Hushpuppi, 37, who was arrested in Dubai last June pleaded guilty to various charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, and felony
He also said he used Kyari, a leader of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, to jail a fellow Fraudster, Kelly Chibuzor Vincent after both were locked in a dispute presumably over how to share the $1.1 million loot taken from the Qatari businessperson.
Vincent subsequently contacted the victim and informed them that they were being scammed by a syndicate involving him and Abbas, US court documents read.
This angered Hushpuppi, who contacted Kyari and asked him to arrest and jail his rival over the dispute. Abbas said Kyari sent to him pictures of Vincent in jail and subsequently sent his bank account number to Abbas to which a wire transfer should be made having done a good job as sent by Abbas.
“Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Kyari, 46.
“According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment,” US Justice department said in a statement.
The FBI added that Abbas and Kyari have been friends and were both involved in a conspiracy to launder money.
Reacting in a statement sent to SaharaReporters, Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the US and Nigeria have an extradition treaty which covers the offences allegedly committed by the police boss.
He added that the US government will have to request for Kyari’s extradition in accordance with the terms of the treaty.
The senior lawyer also urged the the police authorities to initiate urgent disciplinary action against the officer in the interim.
He said, “The United States and Nigeria have an extradition treaty which covers the offences allegedly committed by CP Abba Kyari. If the police officer insists on his innocence, he may want to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the District Court in the United States.
“Otherwise, the United States Government will have to request for his extradition in accordance with the terms of the Treaty. Once the request is received by the Federal Government, the Attorney-General/Minister of Justice will commence extradition proceedings in the Federal High Court.
“Alternatively, the office of the Attorney-General may file charges against the police officer since the offences were committed in Nigeria. In the interim, the police authorities are under a legal obligation to initiate urgent disciplinary action against the officer.
“When i suggested to the Federal Government to request for the extradition of Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Igboho), I was simply saying the authorities of both Nigeria and Benin Republic should operate under international law. I am also asking Nigeria and the United States to handle Abba Kyari's case under international law.”