The detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja not to okay his extradition to the United States of America, USA, to face trial over alleged involvement with a notorious Internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
Kyari, who is currently in prison custody for drug related charges, in fresh processes he filed before the court, alleged that the plan to send him to the US for prosecution was for the purpose of punishing him.
Insisting that his arrest and subsequent detention had “political undertone,” the embattled DCP told the court that the request to extradite him to the USA was “directed to undermine the crackdown on various crime gangs by the respondent in Nigeria and internationally.”
Kyari, in a counter-affidavit deposed to by his younger brother, Mohammed, maintained that all the allegations pending against him are not extraditable offences.
“I know as a fact that the specified offences are of a political character and were, in fact, made for the purpose of prosecuting and punishing the respondent on account of his race, nationality and was not made in good faith nor in the interest of justice,” the deponent averred.
Kyari told the court that he is a highly decorated senior police officer that was already carrying out a “sting investigation” on Ramon Olorunwa Abbas or Abdulraman Imraan Juma, otherwise known as Hushpuppi, before he was framed up and arrested.
“A copy of the letter written by the respondent to the Interpol on January 28, 2020 and to the Inspector General of Police on March 3, 2020 in respect of the sting investigation being carried out by the respondent are herewith attached as Exhibit 1a and 1b respectively. This was five months before the arrest of Ramon Abbas and others by the FBI.
The request for the extradition is not supported by any document or verifiable evidence. The request is directed to undermine the crackdown on various crime gangs by the respondent in Nigeria and internationally and has political undertone.
“The request is for purposes of persecuting or punishing the respondent on account of his defence for the country.
“The respondent is confronted with series of charges to break him down because of his achievements and various national honours. A copy of the charge framed against the Respondent by the NDLEA is herewith attached as Exhibit 2.
The offences are trumped up and the Respondent is seriously committed to defending himself.”
However, the Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, in its own affidavit deposed to by one Bello Abubakar Sholadoye, said it had sufficient evidence to warrant Kyari’s extradition to the US for trial.
It told the court that the office of the AGF “was in receipt of extradition request vide a diplomatic channel for the extradition of the Respondent fugitive wanted to stand trial in the USA.
“That the AGF is satisfied that there is no bar to the extradition application,” it said.
Meanwhile, Justice Inyang Ekwo has adjourned the matter till today to enable FG’s lawyer, Mr. Pius Akutah, respond to Kyari’s preliminary objection against his planned extradition.
The court said it would take both the objection and the substantive suit together.