Nigeria has approved the request by the United States of America to extradite the disgraced and suspended Commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
The United States had requested that Kyari should be extradited over alleged $1.1million wire fraud involving Abass Ramon aka Hushpuppi and four others.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), made this known in an application filed before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
In the application marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022, and filed under the Extradition Act, Malami said the application was necessitated by a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.
FBI Special Agent, Andrew Innocenti, had in a report alleged that Hushpuppi contracted the services of Kyari after a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Vincent, allegedly threatened to expose the alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
Innocenti, who said he obtained voice calls and WhatsApp conversations between Kyari and Hushpuppi, had also alleged that the latter paid the police officer N8m or $20,600 for the arrest and detention of Vincent.
The United States Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California had ordered the FBI to arrest Kyari almost a year ago.
Kyari had taken to Facebook on July 29, 2021, to deny the allegations, but he later deleted the post after editing it about 12 times.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the suspension of Kyari, which the Police Service Commission carried out on July 31, 2021.
The police boss had on August 2, 2021, constituted the Special Investigation Panel headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, to probe the allegations.
The findings of the probe panel were transmitted to the AGF office which is responsible for matters regarding extradition, repatriation and transfer of suspects or wanted persons.
On Thursday, the AGF said the offence in respect of which Kyari’s extradition was requested “is not political nor is it trivial”.
“if surrendered, (Kyari) 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,” part of the application read.
Kyari is the subject of an indictment in case Number 2:21-cr-00203 (also referred to as 2:21-MJ-00760 and 2:21-CR-00203-RGK), filed April 29, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
The US charges against Kyari read, “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.”