Suspended DCP, Abba Kyari begs court to restrain FG from extraditing him to US for trial
Abba Kyari, the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) accused of drug trafficking, has pleaded with a Federal high court in Abuja not to approve his extradition to the United States of America (USA) to stand trial for his alleged involvement with Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, a notorious internet fraudster.
Kyari, who is currently in prison custody for drug related charges, in fresh processes he filed before the court, alleged that the plan to send him to the U.S. for prosecution, was for the purpose of punishing him.
The embattled DCP told the court that the request to extradite him to the USA was “directed to undermine the crackdown on various crime gangs by the respondent in Nigeria and internationally.”
In a counter-affidavit signed by his younger brother, Mohammed, Kyari stated that all of the charges levelled against him are not extraditable offenses.
Kyari informed the court that he was a highly decorated senior police officer who was already conducting a “sting investigation” on Ramon Olorunwa Abbas or Abdulraman Imraan Juma, also known as Hushpuppi, before he was framed up and arrested.
“A copy of the letter written by the Respondent to the Interpol on 28th January, 2020, and to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on 3rd March, 2020, in respect of the sting investigation being carried out by the respondent are herewith attached as exhibit 1a & 1b respectively,” he said.
“This was five months before the arrest of Ramon Abbas and others by the FBI.
“The request for the extradition is not supported by any document or verifiable evidence.
“The request is directed to undermine the crackdown on various crime gangs by the respondent in Nigeria and internationally and has political undertone.
“The request is for purposes of persecuting or punishing the respondent on account of his defence for the country.
“The respondent is confronted with series of charges to break him down because of his achievements and various national honours.
“A copy of the charge framed against the respondent by the NDLEA is herewith attached as exhibit 2.
“The offences are trumped up, and the respondent is seriously committed to defending himself.
“The application for extradition processes clearly shows allegation of crimes committed on Nigeria soil.
“A copy of the alleged charge framed against the respondent by the U.S. government is herewith attached as exhibit 3.
“The respondent has undergone administrative inquiry which is still ongoing and has not been completed to date on the same matter.
“The respondent is a deputy commissioner of police in the employment of the Nigeria Police Force, who is highly decorated with meritorious service/excellent awards for outstanding service to the nation, and has nowhere to run to.
“The respondent has equally been decorated by the U.S. Authorities.
“Having regards to all the circumstances thereof, it will be unjust, oppressive and improper to surrender the respondent to the USA.
“We also further submit that the alleged extradition offences are not listed and cannot be imported into it.
“For any offences to be extradition offences, it must carry the twin head of being listed in the extradition treaty and has similar or analogous offence in Nigeria.
“The instant case has failed this test. We will rely on the list of treaty.
“Equally, there is an ongoing criminal trial against the respondent in FHC/ABJ/CR/57/2022, which the applicant failed to disclose.
“Finally, the respondent submits that the applicant’s request concealed the ongoing criminal proceedings against the respondent.
“This will prove that this application deserves to be dismissed, and the respondent discharged accordingly for the above and other reasons herein”, he added.
While enumerating some of his achievements as a police officer, Kyari told the court that on April 1, 2016, he was granted a Presidential medal for courage for his work as a police officer, according to reports.
“The respondent has been involved in several national assignments, and has in the course of his assignments made many foes.
“The respondent has received several awards and honours in foreign countries including United States of America, where he received commendation award from the FBI for rescuing Americans kidnapped in Nigeria, arresting the kidnappers and arrest of murderers of a serving American soldier killed in Imo state,” the counter affidavit further reads.
In an affidavit testified to by one Bello Abubakar Sholadoye, the Federal Government (FG), through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, stated it has adequate evidence to warrant Kyari’s extradition to the United States for trial.
According to reports, the Federal Government contended that Kyari’s ongoing drug trafficking prosecution would not prevent the court from accepting his extradition, and that the AGF may postpone his extradition to the US government until the conclusion of his trial in Nigeria.
“In conclusion, this honourable court is respectfully urged to resolve that the applicant has placed sufficient material before this court to grant the application for the order of extradition,” FG added.
Meanwhile, Justice Inyang Ekwo has adjourned the matter till Friday, June 3, to enable FG’s lawyer, Mr. Pius Akutah, to respond to Kyari’s preliminary objection against his planned extradition.
The judge also stated that he would take both the objection and the substantive suit together.