The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) must not treat Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), like a common criminal, according to Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mike Ozekhome.
As the lawyer told Channels TV on Tuesday, Kyari is safe under Nigerian law and cannot be extradited to the US, even though the two countries have an extradition treaty.
Police Commission suspended Kyari following FBI indictment after he was accused of bribery by Hushuppi, a self-confessed fraudster.
In another dispute, Hushpuppi alleged he had bribed Kyari to jail a rival in Nigeria in exchange for keeping his hands off $1.1 million in scam money. Kyari has denied the allegation.
Ozekhome said Kyari’s fundamental human rights are protected under Section 36 of the Constitution.
Abba Kyari cannot be picked up by the FBI in Nigeria, taken to the US, and treated as a common criminal. It has never happened before, so it won’t happen.
“I don’t think it will ever happen. Nigeria is a sovereign state, and that must be respected within Nigeria’s borders. For example, if the United States is not satisfied with the way Nigeria handled the matter, they can protest or have diplomatic discussions.
Abba Kyari is protected under Nigerian law. He is entitled to his protection as set forth in section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution.
As a result, he said the Attorney-General should intervene and look into the reasons Kyari is wanted, in order to protect the country’s image.
“The Attorney General should look into the reasons Abba Kyari is wanted. Are you satisfied that he is not wanted for political, religious, or gender reasons? Do you think he will be afforded a fair hearing under the laws there? Do you feel confident that when he comes there, he won’t be delayed and promptly tried; he won’t be detained for an unnecessarily long time?” he said.
“Are you satisfied that the laws under which we wish to try him will not subject him to different laws when you eventually reach him?”
“If the attorney is satisfied with all these under section 6, he approaches the magistrate’s court or, under section 251 of the constitution, he approaches a Federal High Court to issue a bench warrant or arrest warrant for Kyari.
Then he will be detained. Within 15 days, he must extradite Abba Kyari.
If the magistrate or judge discovers that certain requirements need to be met, he can refuse to issue the warrant, or Abba Kyari can appeal to the court and nullify the extradition process.”