THE Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (OAGF) has confirmed that it has commenced the process for the extradition of suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari to the United States (US) over fraud allegations.
The Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, confirmed the development to newsmen on Thursday.
Gwandu said the application for Kyari’s extradition was processed after a thorough study and review of issues surrounding the request for the extradition.
“After thorough studies and reviews of issues regarding the application and components thereof, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice processed the application and forwarded same to the relevant authorities for further necessary action,” Gwandu said.
He added that extradition involves multifaceted components and are usually multi-territorial; international, local and judicial.
Gwandu said submitting the request from the concerned party to the relevant authorities constitutes one of such components.
Kyari is wanted for trial in the United States for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.
On Wednesday, the AGF, Abubakar Malami, applied to begin the process of Kyari’s extradition before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022 was filed under the Extradition Act by Malami, who noted that he was satisfied that the offence regarding which Kyari’s surrender is sought was not political.
In the affidavit that accompanied the application, the AGF said he was satisfied that the request for the surrender of Kyari was not made to persecute or punish him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions, but in good faith and the interest of justice.
The AGF said having regard to all the circumstances in which the offence was committed, it would not be unjust or oppressive or be too severe a punishment to surrender him.
Malami said he was also satisfied that Kyari had been accused of the offence for which his surrender was sought and that there was no criminal proceeding pending against him in Nigeria for the same crime.
In 2021, the US Embassy, in its application for the extradition of Kyari, noted that based on the indictment filed by the grand jury and with the approval of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a deputy clerk of the court had issued a warrant for Kyari’s arrest.
“The arrest warrant remains valid and executable to apprehend Kyari for the crimes with which he is charged in the indictment.
“Kyari is wanted to stand trial in the United States for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and identity theft. Kyari is the subject of an indictment in case Number 2:21-cr-00203 (also referred to as 2:21-MJ-00760 and 2:21-CR-00203-RGK), filed April 29, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California,” the US embassy request stated.
Besides the allegations levelled against Kyari by the US, the suspended police officer is currently in the custody of the NDLEA over his alleged involvement in a drug trafficking case.