AGF, Abubakar Malami has issued warning to court on Abba Kyari bail application.
In his ongoing extradition case, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami has warned a Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja against granting bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari.
In a counter-affidavit to Kyari’s bail request, Malami said the embattled officer could flee if his request was granted.
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In a supporting written address, Akutah Ukeyima, the head of the Federal Ministry of Justice’s Central Authority Unit (CAU), stated that the embattled officers could face up to 20 years in prison if tried and convicted in the United States (US).
The AGF claimed in his affidavit to the court that Kyari was lying about his health because the medical report he ‘parades’ was issued three years ago.
Malami had asked the court last month for an order allowing Kyari to be handed over to US authorities for prosecution on a criminal indictment that was said to be pending against him.
Kyari applied for bail on April 27, the date set by Justice Inyang Ekwo for the hearing of the extradition application. He claimed he was ill.
However, Malami told the court in his counter-affidavit that there was no evidence that Kyari still suffers from the ailment he claims.
“The medical reports attached in support of the respondent’s affidavit are issued in respect of a medical condition that occurred over three and a half years ago in 2019,” he said.
There is no evidence that the respondent is still suffering from the same condition today.”
There is no guarantee that the respondent/applicant will not interfere with the case because he could flee before the case is resolved.”
The AGF reminded the court that the issue at hand was “simply to determine whether or not the respondent/applicant should be extradited to face trial in the United States based on the evidence.”
The AGF stated, “The applicant (Kyari) will jump bail at the first opportunity and will frustrate this honourable court from deciding this application justly, judiciously, and quickly.”
Mr. Ukeyima, the Head of CAU in the Justice Ministry, told the court that the documents against Kyari are “overwhelming.”
“It’s a felony, and a serious one at that,” he said, citing conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting as examples.
According to various US laws, the maximum punishment for these offences upon conviction in the US is a maximum of 20 years in prison for each.
“It is for a period of ten years in Nigeria, with the option of a fine or both a fine and imprisonment. On conviction, his assets and properties are subject to forfeiture under the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, and Other Measures) Act, 2015.
“A cursory examination of the extradition request and the supporting affidavit evidence reveals that the evidence against the applicant is so overwhelming that the court’s discretion should not be exercised in his favour.”
Because extradition cases are purely based on affidavit evidence and may not take a long time to resolve, Ukeyima believes the court should deny Kyari’s bail application due to the risk involved.
Meanwhile, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has rescheduled a hearing in a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Northern Peace Foundation (NPF) to prevent Kyari’s extradition to the United States for June 14.
In the lawsuit, FHC/ABJ/CS/854/2021, the group argued that extraditing the suspended officer would be a violation of his rights.
When the case was called, the parties to Kayode Ajulo’s lawsuit filed on Monday were not present.
Okorowo, who had threatened to dismiss the case for lack of diligence, postponed the hearing until June 14.