Criminal Law

FG approves US request to extradite Abba Kyari

The Federal Government has approved the request by the United States to extradite the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

Kyari’s extradition follows his alleged involvement in a $1.1 million wire fraud with Abbas Ramon, aka Hushpuppi, who is already in custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), made this known in an application filed before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

In the application marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022, and filed under the Extradition Act, Malami said the application was necessitated by a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.

The PUNCH had reported that FBI Special Agent, Andrew Innocenti, had alleged that Hushpuppi contracted the services of Kyari after a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Vincent, allegedly threatened to expose the alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.

Innocenti, who said he obtained voice calls and WhatsApp conversations between Kyari and Hushpuppi, had also alleged that the latter paid the police officer N8m or $20,600 for the arrest and detention of Vincent.

The United States Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California had ordered the FBI to arrest Kyari almost a year ago.

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the suspension of Kyari, which the Police Service Commission carried out on July 31, 2021.

Kyari, former Commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team, 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 charges against Kyari read, “Count one: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years;

“Count two: Conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1956(h), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

“Count three: Aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting that offence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A(a)(1) and 2(a), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of two years.”

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