Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA), on Friday, accused the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); of subtle conspiracy to frustrate the extradition of embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to the United States.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it was a known fact that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had requested that Kyari be tried in America for his role in an alleged internet fraud involving notorious scammer, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi.
The group said the office of the honourable AGF allowed the extradition of Kyari to linger so much till after nearly a year before it announced this week that the Nigerian government was willing to extradite Kyari to the United States.
However, a few hours later, the media revealed that the NDLEA had since February filed eight counts against Kyari before a Federal High Court on Monday and that Kyari would be arraigned on March 7.
Kyari has been in NDLEA custody since February 14 for attempting to sell 25kg of cocaine which was seized from some drug dealers. The NDLEA had also accused him of being a drug kingpin.
But reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said: “The AGF and some northern political forces must be on a conspiratorial mission because as long as Kyari is facing charges in Nigeria, he cannot be extradited to the US-based on the Extradition Treaty between Nigeria and the United States.”
HURIWA quoted the law thus: “Attorney General of the Federation however has the power to refuse extradition. According to section 3 of the Extradition Act which places restrictions on extradition, it provides:
A fugitive criminal- (a) who has been charged with an offence under the law of Nigeria or any part thereof, not being the offence for which his surrender is sought; or (b) who is serving a sentence imposed in respect of any such offence by a court in Nigeria, shall not be surrendered until such a time as he has been discharged whether by acquittal or on the expiration of his sentence or otherwise.”
“Apparently, it would seem that either that the AGF is not even aware that NDLEA which is an Agency under his Ministry had filed charges or he knew and he still authorised the filing of extradition application even when aspects of the Extradition Treaty between Nigeria and USA says no extradition will happen if the accused person is facing same or another charge or charges at the time of filing the extradition application.
“So, it is either that the government is taking Nigerians for a ride by muddying up the extradition application so their sacred cow does not go to the USA to face charges of 419 alongside Hushpuppi or the justice minister need to explain why his office did not ask the NDLEA not to file charges so the extradition application goes first and is successfully obtained because as it is, the accused person can’t be extradited since he now has an advantage of the provision of the extradition treaty not to be extradited.
“The AGF must remedy his administrative or intentional error to rely on section 174 of the Constitution on Nolle prosequi to terminate the charges filed by NDLEA so the extradition procedure in the Federal High Court won’t be sabotaged. He must do this fast.”