The Federal Government asked that the detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Abba Kyari, be handed over to the USA so that he could stand trial for his alleged association with a well-known internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known by his online persona Hushpuppi.
The Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the request on Monday.
The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that the extradition application FG filed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, was “incompetent and bereft of merit”.
Justice Ekwo sustained that the AGF, Malami, SAN, being the Chief Law Officer of the country, ought to be aware that the Extradition Act, forbade the surrendering of a defendant that is already facing trial before a competent court in the country.
The court wondered why the AGF approached the court with the extradition application when he was equally the one that issued FIAT to the National Drug Law Enforcement, NDLEA, to prosecute DCP Kyari on drug related charges.
The AGF could not say that he was not aware of the pending proceeding against the defendant which was entered against him by the NDLEA”, Justice Ekwo explained.
He said the law was clear that Kyari, having been docked before a court of competent jurisdiction in the country.
In his words:
“shall not be surrendered until such case has been discharged either by his conviction or acquittal”.
Consequently, the court held that the extradition request was incompetent and deserved to be dismissed.
It will be remembered that the court had on June 3, reserved the matter for judgement, after it heard from FG’s lawyer, Mr. Pius Akutah, and that of the embattled DCP, Mr. Nureni Jimoh, SAN.
While FG maintained that it had met all condition precedents for the suspended DCP to be sent to the US to answer to a criminal charge that is pending against him, on the other hand, Kyari, challenged the legal competence of the extradition request against him.
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