By Paul Michael
Suspended and embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Abba Kyari, has pleaded with the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to disregard a suit by the Government to extradite him to the United States of America (USA) to face trial over alleged involvement with Internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi.
In a counter-affidavit deposed to by his younger brother, Mohammed, Kyari who is currently in prison custody for drug related offences, described his arrest and subsequent detention as a “political undertone”, noting that plans to send him to the US for prosecution was for the purpose of punishing him for defending the country.
He said efforts to extradite him to the U.S was to undermine the crackdown on various crime gangs by the respondent in Nigeria and overseas. He said, “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.
“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.” Meanwhile, in an affidavit deposed to by one Bello Abubakar Sholadoye on behalf of the Federal Government through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, he told the court that 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.” Presiding Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter till Friday to enable Mr Pius Akutah (FG’s Lawyer), respond to Kyari’s preliminary objection against his planned extradition.