Extradition of DCP Abba Kyari to the United States is not automatic, according to Dr Kayode Ajulo, a constitutional lawyer and activist.
A suspect, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, used Abba Kyari, Commander, IGP Intelligence Response Monitoring Team, to arrest and jail a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent, after the latter threatened to expose an alleged one million dollar fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
The United States Attorney’s Office had issued an arrest warrant for Kyari because of his alleged ties to Hushpuppi, who was facing charges including internet fraud and money laundering.
Before extradition can take place, Ajulo said in a statement released on Friday in Lagos that strict adherence to international and municipal legal mechanisms must be observed.
He claimed that as a sovereign state, Nigerian citizens could not be expelled or extradited without strict adherence to the Constitution and international protocols.
“Moreover, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United States are bound by the Extradition Treaty, which was signed on December 22, 1931 (and entered into force on June 24, 1935), as well as the Extradition Act of 1966, the (Extradition Modification) Order, 2014, the Extradition Act (Proceedings) Rules, 2015, and other International Protocols.
“A request for the surrender of a fugitive criminal of any country must be made in writing to the Attorney-General by a diplomatic representative or consular officer of that country and must be accompanied by a duly authenticated warrant of arrest or certificate of conviction issued in that country,” according to Section 6 of the Extradition Act.
“Follow that, the Attorney General of the Federation’s office will have to conduct a discreet and thorough investigation into the allegations.
“And, if there is any prima facie case against DCP Kyari, initiate extradition proceedings against him in a Nigerian court of competent jurisdiction and obtain an Order of Court in line before he can be extradited to the United States.
“As events unfold, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), faces a monumental task,” Ajulo said.
He lamented, however, that Kyari’s alleged indictment in the United States was an unfortunate situation involving Nigeria’s “Super Cop Abba Kyari .”
IGP Usman Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, ordered an “internal review of the allegations” against Abba Kyari by a US court on Thursday.
The IGP reaffirmed the Nigeria Police Force’s commitment to the pursuit of justice and the improvement of its professional relationship with the FBI and other international partners.
If convicted, he faces a 20-year prison sentence, three years of supervision after completing his sentence, and monetary restitution of $500,000 or more.
The criminal complaint that sparked the investigation into Hushpuppi and, ultimately, Kyari, was unsealed on Monday.
Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to his role in the school-finance scheme, as well as several other cyber and business email compromise schemes, totalling more than 24 million dollars in losses to his victims, on April 20, 2021