AGF Malami declares position on bail application for DCP Abba Kyari

AGF Malami declares position on bail application for DCP Abba Kyari

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami has cautioned a Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja against granting bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari in his ongoing extradition case.

Malami, in a counter-affidavit to the bail application by Kyari., said the embattled officer could abscond if his request was granted.

Head, Central Authority Unit (CAU) of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Akutah Ukeyima, said in a supporting written address, that the embattled officers could face no less than 20 years in jail if tried and convicted in the United States (US).

In his affidavit, the AGF told the court that Kyari was being untruthful about his health going by the fact that the medical report he ‘parades’ was issued three years ago.

Malami had last month applied to the court for an order permitting the surrender of Kyari to the US authorities for prosecution over a criminal indictment said to be pending against him.

Before the April 27 fixed by Justice Inyang Ekwo for the hearing of the extradition application, Kyari applied for bail, claiming ill-health.

But, in his counter-affidavit, Malami told the court there was nothing to show at the moment that Kyari still suffers the ailment he claims.

He said: “The medical reports attached in support of the affidavit of the respondent are issued in respect of a medical condition that occurred in 2019 over three and half years ago. “There is nothing to show that the respondent still suffers from the same ailment today. “There is nothing to guarantee that the respondent/applicant will not interfere with the case as he may abscond before the outcome of the case.”

The AGF reminded the court that the issue before it was “ simply to determine whether or not the respondent/applicant should be extradited to face trial in the US based on the evidence” before it.

“The applicant (Kyari) will jump bail at the slightest opportunity and will frustrate this honourable court from determining this application justly, judiciously and speedily,” the AGF said.

The Head of CAU in the Justice Ministry, Mr Ukeyima, told the court that the documents against Kyari “are so overwhelming.”

He said: “It is a felony and a serious offence at that: conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting. “The maximum punishment for these offences upon conviction in the US carries a maximum of 20 years each as contained in the various US laws.

“In Nigeria, it is for a term of 10 years with an option of a fine or both fine and imprisonment. His assets and properties, on conviction, are liable to forfeiture as provided under the Cybercrime (Prohibition, prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

“A cursory look at the extradition request and the affidavit evidence in respect of the extradition application shows that the evidence against the applicant is so overwhelming that the court’s discretion should not be exercised in his favour.”

Ukeyima added that since extradition cases are purely affidavit evidence cases and may not really require a lengthy time to conclude, the court should refuse Kyari’s application for bail in view of the risk involved.

Meanwhile, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has rescheduled the hearing for June 14 in a suit by a group, the Incorporated Trustees of Northern Peace Foundation (NPF), seeking to stop Kyari’s extradition.

The group, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/854/2021, argued that extradition of the suspended officer would amount to a violation of his rights.

Parties to the case filed on Monday by Kayode Ajulo were absent when it was called.

Okorowo, who had once threatened to strike out the suit for lack of diligent prosecution, adjourned till June 14.

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