A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed August 29, to deliver judgment in a suit seeking to extradite a suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Abba Kyari to the United States of America for trial in alleged internet fraud.
Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date after taking final arguments from lawyers to the federal government and Mr Kyari.
Kyari was the head of the Inspector-General of Police’ Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Federal Government had filed the extradition suit through office of the Attorney-General of Federation against the embattled DCP, seeking the court’s approval to surrender him to the United States government.
Kyari, is wanted by the American government over pending fraud charges filed against him and others at the Central District Court of Central District of California.
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U.S. prosecutors accuse him of complicity in the $1.1million international fraud spearheaded by Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
Kyari’s lawyer, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Nureni Jimoh, asked the court to refuse the extradition request on the grounds that he committed no offence to warrant the Nigerian government to ferry him to the U.S.
He informed the judge that more than a year before Kyari’s arrest, he had written the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police, notifying them that he had opened a channel of communication with a suspected Internet fraudster, Ramon Abass.
He further told the court that the wire fraud charge brought against Mr Kyari by the American government is not known as an offence under Extradition Act and therefore, should not be allowed by the court to be used to extradite him.
In a counter reaction, federal government’s lawyer, Pius Akuta, urged the court to disregard Mr Kyari’s arguments.
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Mr Akuta said that conditions precedent for extradition have been met by the American government with the filing of charge against Mr Kyari and a formal application that he be brought to America to establish his guilt or innocence in his indictment for Internet fraud.
The federal government’s lawyer argued that Kyari’s separate, ongoing trial for drug trafficking in Nigeria would not stop the court from approving his extradition.
The Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja had in its request to Office of the Attorney General Of Federation, noted that a warrant for Kyari’s arrest issued by a U.S. District Court “remains valid and executable to apprehend Kyari.
According to the request, “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.