Federal govt agrees to extradite Abba Kyari to the US

Federal government has approved the request by the United States government for the extradition of the disgraced Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari.

Kyari was accused of committing wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft. 

He was also accused of working with Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, who has pleaded guilty to Internet fraud. 

A grand jury in April 2021 filed an indictment against Kyari with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

On Wednesday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), filed an application before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja for Kyari’s extradition.

The application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022 was filed under the Extradition Act, IO Nigeria reports. 

The AGF said the application followed a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.

It is “for the surrender of Abba Alhaji Kyari, who is a subject in a superseding three counts indictment”.

Recently, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) also secured the arrest and detention of Kyari and five other officers in connection with a drug deal. 

In the affidavit filed in support of the extradition application, the AGF stated that he was satisfied that the offence in respect of which Kyari’s surrender is sought is not political nor is it trivial.

The AGF also expressed satisfaction 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 added that 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 court documents, the charge filed along with the extradition application 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.” 

In the request for Kyari’s extradition, the U.S. Embassy stated: “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.