Detained Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP), Abba Kyari will on August 29 know his fate when Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court will render his judgment in a suit seeking to extradite him to the United States for trial in alleged internet fraud.
The date was fixed on Friday after counsel to both parties had adopted their arguments for and against the suit.
While adopting his brief of arguments, Kyari’s counsel, Nureini Jimoh (SAN), asked the court to refuse the extradition request on the ground that he committed no offense to warrant the Federal Government to ferry him to the United States.
In addition, the defence counsel informed the court that more than a year before his arrest, he had written the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and the Inspector General of Police IGP, notifying them that he had opened a channel of communication with a suspected internet fraudster, Ramon Abass.
In the two letters tendered in court, Kyari explained that the purpose was to give confidence to the suspected fraudster and lure him to come to Nigeria where an ambush was already laid for a sting operation by his own strike force.
He also argued that American authorities once commended him with the commitment he was exhibiting in the battle against internet fraud.
Kyari further told the court that the wire fraud charge brought against him 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.
However, the Federal Government represented by the head, Central Unit Authority(CUA), of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Pius Akutah urged the court to discontennance the arguments of the defendant.
He said that conditions precedent for extradition have been met by the American government with the filing of charge against Kyari and a formal application that he be brought to America to establish his guilty or innocence in his indictment for internet fraud.
Kyari is wanted in the U.S. to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft. A grand jury had, on April 29, 2021, filed an indictment against him with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, after which a warrant was issued for his arrest.
But in a motion before the court, Kyari alleged that the plan to send him to the U.S. for prosecution was for the purpose of punishing him.
While maintaining that his arrest and subsequent detention had “political undertone”, Kyari 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.”
In a counter-affidavit that was deposed to by his younger brother, Mohammed, the embattled DCP insisted 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.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), filed an extradition application at the Federal High Court in Abuja following a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.
The request from the U.S. authorities, according to Malami, is “for the surrender of Abba Alhaji Kyari, who is a subject in a superseding three counts indictment”.
The AGF said in the application that he was satisfied that the offences in respect of which Kyari’s surrender was sought were neither political nor trivial