FG moves to hand Kyari over to US

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Federal Government yesterday began  the extradition process  of suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari to the United States of America (USA), over  $1.1 million alleged wire fraud involving Abas Roman, popularly known as Hushpuppi and four others.

Kyari, who was the Commander of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), is currently cooling his heels in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA), over some fraudulent drug deals.

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The application for his extradition marked FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022, was filed before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

It was brought under the Extradition Act, following a request by the Diplomatic Respresentative of the U.S Embassy in Abuja for “the surrender of Abba Kyari, whom is a subject in a superseding three count indictment.

Malami has expressed satisfaction that the offence in respect of which Kyari’s surrender is not political nor is it trivial.

In April 2021, a jury filed an indictment against Kyari with the approval of the U.S. District Court and demanded Kyari stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

Consequently, the US Embassy requested for Kyari’s extradition saying, “On April 29, 2021, based on the indictment filed by the grand jury and with the approval of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a deputy clerk of the court issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari.

“The arrest warrant remains valid and executable to apprehend Kyari for the crimes with which he is charged in the indictment. Kyari is wanted to stand trial in the United States for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and identity theft. Kyari is the subject of an indictment in case Number 2:21-cr-00203 (also referred to as 2:21-MJ-00760 and 2:21-CR-00203-RGK), filed April 29, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.”

Kyari was accused of conspiring with a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Nigerian, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi to commit the crime.

The charges against Kyari reads, “Count one: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years;

“Count two: Conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1956(h), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Count three: Aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting that offence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A(a)(1) and 2(a), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of two years.”

(Continued on www.sunnewsonline.com)

Meanwhile, Malami said he was satisfied that the request for the surrender of Kyari was not made to persecute or punish him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions, but in good faith and the interest of justice.

He said Kyari, “if surrendered, will not be prejudiced at his trial and will not be punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty, by reason of his race, nationality or political opinions”.

The AGF said having regard to all the circumstances in which the offence was committed, it will not be unjust or oppressive, or be too severe a punishment, to surrender him.

Malami said he was also satisfied that Kyari has been accused of the offence for which his surrender is sought.

He noted that there was no criminal proceeding pending against Kyari in Nigeria for the same offence.

According to the AGF, “As you are aware extradition is a process that involves multifaceted components. The components are usually   multi-territorial; international, local and judicial.

“ Submision of request from the concern party to the relevant authorities constitutes one of such components. 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 forward same to the relevant authorities for further necessary action.

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However, Kyari has filed an application challenging the order made on February 22 by Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abuja empowering National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) to detain him for 14 days in the first instance.

In an application filed by his lawyers, Kyari wants the court to set aside the order for his detention, arguing that the order was issued without him being accorded a fair hearing.

The court has fixed the hearing of the application for March 8.

Meanwhile, the NDLEA  has finally filed an eight count criminal charge against  Kyari, and six others it alleged were involved in drug trafficking.

This came barely 24 hours after Malami,  approved the request by the US government for Kyari to be extradited to the  States to face trial over an alleged $1.1 m internet fraud involving Ramon  Abbas, popularly known as Hussipuppi.

In a charged marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022 and filed before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, the anti-nacortic agency accused  Kyari and the four other police officers of conspiracy, obstruction, and dealing in Cocaine worth 17.55 kilograms.

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In addition, the charge filed by the NDLEA legal team led by the Director, Prosecution & Legal Services, Mr. Joseph Sunday, alleged that Kyari and his men, who are currently in NDLEA custody, also unlawfully tampered with 21.25kg worth of Cocaine.

Those charged alongside Kyari were four members of team, ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba, and Insp. John Nuhu, as well as two alleged drug traffickers that were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.

The agency accused Umeibe and Ezenwanne of conspiring with others at large, to import 21.35kg of Cocaine into the country.

Count one reads:”That you  DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J. Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male, on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abuja conspired amongst themselves with ASP John Umoru (now at large) to deal in 17.55kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Count two reads: “That you DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J. Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male, adult on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dealt in 17.55 kilogrammes of cocaine without lawful authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“That you DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector  Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male, all male, Adult on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, within the office of the Inspector-General of (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves and with ASP John Umoru (now at large) to unlawfully tamper with 21.35 kilogramames of cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphons Ezenwannne in the custody of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), by removing and disposing 17.55 kilogrammes of the cocaine and by substituting same with some other substance and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004”

“That you DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector  Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male adult on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, within the office of the Inspector-General of (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable unlawfully tampered with 21.35 kilogramames of cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwannne in the custody of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), by removing and disposing 17.55 kilogrammes of the cocaine and substituting same with some other substance and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 16 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.

“That you Chibunna Patrick Umeibe, male adult and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, male adult on or about the 19th January 2022 at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority imported 21.35kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the National Drug Law enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“That you Chibunna Patrick Umeibe, male, adult; and you Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, male adult on or about the 25th January 2022 at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority imported 21.35kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to an punishable under section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“ That you Chibunna Patrick Umeibe, male, adult; and you Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, male adult and one IK, now at large, on the 25th January 2022, at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly possessed 21.35 kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(d) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

In count eight, the agency said “That you DCP Abba Kyari, on or about 25th January 2022, at a restaurant on Port Harcourt Crescent, Area 11, Garki Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the court, attempted to obstruct the Agency and its authorised officers in the exercise of their duties by offering the sum of $61,400.00 USD (sixty-one thousand, four hundred United States of America Dollars) to a senior officer of the Agency as inducement to prevent the testing of the

17.55kilogrammes of substance used to replace the cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 23 and punishable under section 49 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed

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