NIGERIA’S federal government has approved a request by the US to extradite Assistant Police Commissioner Abba Kyari who is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over his involvement with Internet fraudster Abass Ramon popularly known as Hushpuppi.
On July 31, 2021, Mr Kyari was suspended by the Police Service Commission after the FBI indicted him for his alleged role in a $1m scam perpetrated by Internet fraudster Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi. According to the FBI, Hushpuppi paid Mr Kyari N8m or $20,600 to arrest and detain co-conspirator Chibuzor Vincent for threatening to expose their scam.
Last month, Nigeria’s attorney-general Abubakar Malami, revealed that the federal government is engaged in talks with the US over the extradition of Mr Kyari. Earlier today, Mr Malami confirmed that he has filed an application before the chief judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking for Mr Kyari’s extradition.
According to Mr Malami, the application followed a request by the diplomatic representative of the US Embassy in Abuja. He added that the request is for the surrender of Mr Kyari, who is a subject in a superseding three counts indictment.
Mr Malami added that he was satisfied that the offence in respect of which Mr Kyari’s surrender is sought is not political nor is it trivial. He also expressed satisfaction that the request for the surrender of Mr Kyari was not made to persecute or punish him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions but in good faith and in the interest of justice.
Mr Malami said: “If surrendered, Mt 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.”
He said having regard to all the circumstances in which the offence was committed, it will not be unjust or oppressive, or be too severe a punishment, to surrender him. In addition, Mr Malami said he was also satisfied that Mr Kyari has been accused of the offence for which his surrender is sought.
Furthermore, Mr Malami noted that there was no criminal proceeding pending against Mr Kyari in Nigeria for the same offence. In April 2021, a jury filed an indictment against Mr Kyari with the approval of the US District Court and demanded Mr Kyari stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.