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Court Fixes March 23 To Hear FG’s Request To Extradite Abba Kyari

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Federal High Court in Abuja fixed March 23, to hear an application by the Federal Government seeking for the suspended DCP Abba Kyari’s extradition to the United States (U.S).

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Recall that the Federal Government, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), filed the application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022.

The suit, titled: “Application for the Extradition of Abba Alhaji Kyari to the United States of America,” was dated and filed March 2.

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While the AGF is the applicant, Kyari is the respondent in the application.

Kyari was formerly the head of Inspector-General of Police special Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

The matter, which was assigned to Justice Inyang Ekwo by the Chief Judge of FHC, Justice John Tsoho, has been fixed for March 23 for hearing.

The application was filed under the Extradition Act, as part of Nigerian government’s approval of the request by the U. S. for Kyari’s extradition.

The application, which was directly addressed to the chief judge, hinted that a request was made to Nigeria by Diplomatic Representative of the Embassy of the United States of America (USA), Abuja, for the surrender of Kyari who Is a subject in a superseding three counts indictment in case no: 2:21-cr-00203-RGK.

The AGF, Abubakar Malami, said the case was filed on April 29, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, USA.

Malami said that Kyari was to answer to a three-count charge.

“Count one: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1349, ll.

“Counts two: Conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(h)

“Count three: Aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C, Sections 1028A (a)1j and 2(a),” he said.

According to the AGF, the punishment for the offences as contained In the superseding Indictment carries a maximum of 20 years imprisonment for count one, 20 years imprisonment for count two and two years imprisonment for count three consecutive to any other sentence imposed respectively as contained in the various United States laws.

Malami said:”there is no death sentence imposed on the offences for which the suspect is accused.”

He said the application was in line with the requirement of the Extradition Act, CAP E25, LFN, 2004.

He argued that the offence for which the suspect is accused of is extraditable offence under Articles 3 (18 & 20) of the Extradition Treaty between the United States of America and Great Britain, signed at London, on December 22,1931.

He said the treaty is recognised as binding on the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by legal Notice 33 of 1967.

He said the offences are also covered by Articles 3, 5 and 6 of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, adopted November 15, 2000 (“The UNTOC”).

Malami said that the the offence charged in count three is considered a separate serious crime, covered under Article 16(2) of the UNTOC.

He said besides that the offences for which Kyari is accused are extraditable, they are also punishable under the Nigerian laws.

“The offence is analogous to the offence in Sections 1, and 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act and Other Related Offences 2006.

“Now, I, Abubakar Malami, SAN, Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, by this application, under my hand, signify to you that this request has been made, and require you to deal with the case in accordance with the provisions of the Extradition Act, Cap. E25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“In support of this application, I attach an affidavit together with the Exhibits thereto, deposed to by Henry Temeka, Nigerian, male, Higher Executive Officer, Central Authority Unit, International Cooperation Department, Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja,” the application read.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had, on Monday, arraigned Kyari, alongside six others, including four officers of IRT, on eight-count charge bordering on alleged drug trafficking before Justice Emeka Nwite of FHC, Abuja.

The four members of the IRT, in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/57/2022, include ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu.

Other defendants in the charge are Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, the two alleged drug traffickers that were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

Although Kyari and the four police officers denied their involvement in the matter, Umeibe and Ezenwanne pleaded guilty to the counts preferred against them.

Justice Nwite, who ordered that Kyari and others be remanded in NDLEA custody pending the hearing of their bail application on March 14, also fixed March 28 for the review of facts in the charges filed against Umeibe and Ezenwanne, who pleaded guilty