Abba Kyari: Lawyer Explains How ‘Super Cop’ May Escape Extradition Despite Malami’s Application
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami’s application for the extradition of the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, may become a futile exercise if the justice minister does not take a step further to stop the NDLEA from filing charges against the officer.
DCP Kyari, once celebrated for his crime-busting adeptness, suddenly became a subject of different scandals ranging from international cyber fraud and drug trafficking.
The officer was recently arrested after the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency declared him wanted for alleged membership of an international drug cartel.
Prior to this, the Nigeria Police Force had suspended Kyari after the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicted him in a multimillion-dollar international cyber fraud case involving Hushpuppi, a Nigerian alleged fraudster.
But following his recent arrest and detention for alleged drug trafficking by the NDLEA, AGF Malami announced on Thursday that his office had filed an application before a Federal High Court in Abuja to have Kyari extradited to face the fraud charges against him in the U.S.
Reacting, however, a Lagos-based lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has warned that Malami’s application for Kyari’s extradition may fail if he doesn’t stop the NDLEA from filing charges against the officer.
While describing Malami’s move as a welcome development, Effiong said the “NDLEA has to stay action on the drug-related charges against Kyari” if the AGF’s application must go through.
He said, “Investigation by the NDLEA can continue while the extradition application is litigated. But it will be counter productive for the NDLEA to proceed to file charges against Kyari during the pendency of the extradition application. That will make nonsense of the entire process.
“Section 3 of the Extradition Act makes it imperative for the prosecution of Kyari on the drug charges to be put on hold. This is because by the said provision, extradition application will be refused by the court if the wanted fugitive is undergoing prosecution for another crime.
“If Abubakar Malami, SAN is serious and honest about extraditing Kyari, he should ensure that the NDLEA does not file charges against Kyari at this time.
“Otherwise, it will vindicate those who have asserted that the drug allegations may just be a disguise attempt to shield Kyari,” Effiong wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on his behalf by his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, AGF Malami had said that his application for Kyari’s extradition followed a request by the U.S. Government.
“The components are usually multi-territorial; international, local and judicial.
“Submission of request from the concerned 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,” the statement partly read.