Court Dismisses FG’s Appeal To Surrender Kyari To US Over Fraud Charges


Abba Kyari

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, August 29, rejected Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in his request for the extradition of Abba Kyari to the United States of America to face fraud charges.

The judge, Inyang Ekwo, claimed that Mr. Malami was to blame for the case’s demise because he had started the extradition process despite Mr. Kyari’s ongoing criminal case in Nigeria.

The American government is looking for Mr. Kyari, a deputy police commissioner who has been suspended, in connection with fraud allegations that have been brought against him and others at the Central District of California’s US District Court.

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Mr. Kyari is accused by US prosecutors of participating in the $1.1 million global fraud that Abbas Ramon, also known as Hushpuppi, oversaw.

Hushpuppi is a former Nigerian Instagram celebrity, who awaits sentencing in September after pleading guilty to the scam and other criminal activities.

Earlier this year, the American government requested the extradition of Mr Kyari to face charges filed against him and other co-defendants in the US last year.

The Verdict

Delivering judgement in the case, on Monday, August 29, the judge, Mr Ekwo, held that there is a subsisting criminal case against Mr Kyari at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“I find that this application was brought in bad faith,” the judge said, before dismissing the Attorney-General’s suit.

Mr Ekwo said the AGF was aware of the pendency of Mr Kyari’s trial by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in a 25kg cocaine deal earlier this year.

Referring to Mr Kyari’s criminal suit before another of the same court in Abuja, Emeka Nwite, Mr Ekwo held;

The consequence of the Extradition Act is that the respondent (Mr Kyari) shall not be surrendered until such a time that he has been discharged or convicted at the conclusion of trial.

Relying on the provisions of Section 3 of the Extradition Act, the judge said the law

Preserves the integrity of the municipal laws of the country from which a request is made for the surrendering of a fugitive criminal.

The legislature intended the preservation of the municipal laws of Nigeria.

The applicant, being the Attorney-General of the Federation, is in a position to know that Mr Kyari is standing trial on offences bordering on the provisions of the NDLEA Act, and ought not to have brought this (extradition) application.

This application is in breach of Section 3 (6) of the Extradition Act, and by that Act it is incompetent. I make an order dismissing this application.

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