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…He’s safe under Nigerian law, FBI can’t treat him like criminal — Ozekhome

Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, is yet to receive any communication on the arrest warrant issued against DCP Abba Kyari by the Federal Investigation Bureau, FBI, following his indictment by internet fraudster, Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

This came as Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mike Ozekhome, said yesterday that the suspended cop could not be extradited from Nigeria to the United States, even in the face of the extradition treaty between both countries.

Special Assistant, Media and Public Relations, to the AGF, Umar Gwandu, said the AGF Office was yet to be informed about the development.

The AGF office is responsible for matters regarding extradition, repatriation and transfer of suspects or wanted persons.

“There is no official communication to that effect,” Gwandu said, adding that a transfer process won’t commence until there was a request from the US.

He, however, assured that “everything will be done according to the rule of law and based on the dictates of the extant provisions of the law.”

Speaking on the issue in an interview on a Channels Television’s breakfast programe, Sunrise Daily, yesterday, Ozekhome said Kyari would not be extradited to the US, despite the extradition treaty between Nigeria and the United States.

He said under section 36 of the constitution, Kyari’s fundamental human rights were protected, and that the officer could not be treated like a common criminal by the FBI.

“The FBI cannot come into Nigeria and pick Abba Kyari like a common criminal and take him away to America. It is not going to happen, it has never happened before.

‘’I do not believe it will ever happen. Nigeria is a sovereign state and that must be respected within the boundaries of Nigeria.

“So if for example America is not satisfied with the way Nigeria is handling the matter, they can protest or call for diplomatic discussions.

“Abba Kyari is safe under Nigeria law, he is entitled to his protection under Nigeria’s constitution particularly section 36 that presumes his innocence,” he said.

He also said the AGF had a role to play in saving the image of the country by stepping into the case and consider the reasons Kyari is wanted.

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“The Attorney-General is to take over the entire matter; look at the reasons Abba Kyari is wanted. Are you satisfied that he’s not wanted for a political offence, religious belief, gender? Are you satisfied that laws over there will grant him fair hearing?

‘’Are you satisfied that when he comes there, he will not be delayed and promptly tried; he’ll not be put through unnecessary prolonged detention?”

“Are you satisfied that the laws under which we want to try him will not subject him to different genres of laws when you eventually get him there?

“When the attorney is satisfied with all these under section 6, then he approaches the magistrate court or under section 251 of the constitution, he approaches a federal high court to issue a bench warrant or warrant of arrest against Kyari. He will then now be detained. He has within 15 days to now extradite Abba Kyari.

“But if the magistrate or the judge discovers certain prerequisites that ought to be done have not been fulfilled, he can refuse to issue the warrant or Abba Kyari can go to the court and nullify the extradition process,’’ Ozekhome said.

Kyari, who had been described as one of the most celebrated police officers in the country, was suspended by the Police Service Commission, PSC, on Sunday on the recommendation of the IGP over his alleged relationship with Ramon Abbas, self-confessed international fraudster, also known as Hushpuppi.

Hushpuppi had alleged that he bribed Kyari to arrest and jail “one of his rivals in Nigeria after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam of Qatari businessman but Kyari denied any wrongdoing, saying he never collected money from Hushpuppi.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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