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My incarceration and arrest have a political overtone – Abba Kyari

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Abba Kyari, a detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, has requested the Federal High Court in Abuja to refuse his extradition to the United States of America, USA, to stand prosecution for his collaboration with Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, a prominent Internet fraudster.

Abba Kyari, who is presently incarcerated on drug-related charges, claimed in new court documents that the intention to send him to the United States for prosecution was intended to punish him.

The embattled DCP told the court that his arrest and subsequent detention had a “political undertone,” and that the request to extradite him to the United States was “intended to undermine the respondent’s assault on numerous crime organizations in Nigeria and globally.”

In a counter-affidavit signed by his younger brother, Mohammed, Kyari stated that all of the charges leveled against him are not extraditable.

“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,” the deponent averred.

Before he was framed up and imprisoned, Kyari informed the court that he was a highly decorated senior police officer who was already conducting a “sting probe” on Ramon Olorunwa Abbas or Abdulraman Imraan Juma, also known as Hushpuppi.

“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.”

In an affidavit testified to by one Bello Abubakar Sholadoye, the Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, stated it had sufficient evidence to warrant Kyari’s extradition to the United States for trial.

The AGF’s office “was in receipt of an extradition request via a diplomatic channel for the extradition of the Respondent fugitive wanted to stand trial in the United States,” it told the court.

“The AGF is satisfied that the extradition application is not barred,” it stated.

In the meantime, Justice Inyang Ekwo has postponed the case until today to allow FG’s lawyer, Mr. Pius Akutah, to react to Kyari’s preliminary objection to his proposed extradition.

The court stated that both the objection and the substantive suit would be considered simultaneously.

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