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HUSHPUPPI: Nigerian govt agrees to extradite suspended ‘Super Cop’ Abba Kyari to US

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The Nigerian government has began the process to extradite a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari to the United States of America to face trial for alleged fraud and abuse of office.

Kyari was mentioned as an accomplice by a suspected international fraudster, Abbas Ramon, aka Hushpuppi in a fraud scheme, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had requested for the extradition of Kyari to face trial in the U.S.

Kyari, the suspended head of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) , is wanted over his alleged involvement in a $1.1 million internet scam perpetrated by Hushpuppi, and four others.

The approval for Kyari’s extradition was made by Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), in an application he filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, giving the government’s approval for the extradition to be carried out.

In the application marked “FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022 filed under the Extradition Act,” the AGF said the application followed a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.

“The request is for the surrender of Abba Alhaji Kyari, who is a subject in a superseding three counts indictment,” part of the request reads.

Malami also expressed government’s satisfaction 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.”

“If surrendered, the subject will not be prejudiced at his trial and will not be punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty, by reason of his race, nationality or political opinions,” the letter noted.

Abba Kyari’s travails began in April 2021, when a US jury filed an indictment against him at a US District Court demanding his extradition to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

The US Embassy had then sent a request to the Nigerian government for Kyari’s extradition in a letter dated April 29, 2021.

Based on the indictment filed by the grand jury and with the approval of the US district court for the Central District of California, a warrant of arrest for Kyari was issued.

It read:

“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.”

Read also: US Court gives new date for Hushpuppi’s sentencing

Some of the charges against Kyari were:

“Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years;

“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.

“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.”

Going by Malami’s letter to the court, Kyari who is currently in detention after he was arrested by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on allegations of belonging to an international drug cartel, Kyari’s extradition to the USA may have been signed and sealed.

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