The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has revealed that there is no confusion or conflict over the extradition proceedings and cocaine-trafficking charges filed against Abba Kyari, a suspended deputy commissioner of police.
The AGF disclosed on Wednesday while addressing newsmen after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The move to extradite Kyari to the U.S. has raised concern that cocaine-related charges filed against him at the Federal High Court in Abuja by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) may be stopped.
The concerns are anchored on section 3 (6) of the Extradition Act, which prohibits the extradition of a fugitive standing trial on different criminal charges in Nigeria.
The part of the Extradition Act reads, “(A) A fugitive criminal who has been charged with an offence under the law of Nigeria or any part thereof, not being the offence for which his surrender is sought; or
“(B) Who is serving a sentence imposed in respect of any such offence by a court in Nigeria, shall not be surrendered until such a time as he has been discharged whether by acquittal or on the expiration of his sentence or otherwise.”
But Malami characterized the concerns about the anticipated impact of the cocaine-trafficking charges on the extradition move as a misperception, without addressing the exact implications of the statutory requirements on the move to extradite Kyari.
“There is no confusion, but there is a great misconception or perhaps either mischievous or otherwise on the part of certain, perhaps journalists that have not taken their time to study a situation, understand it and act accordingly,” he said.
Malami explained that before the NDLEA charged him with cocaine-related offenses in February, the US government had requested Mr Kyari’s extradition for his parts in a $1.1 million fraud championed by Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi.
AGF maintained that there was no conflict between the two cases despite the clear provisions of the Extradition Act and the likelihood of the defence citing the NDLEA case as grounds for dismissing the extradition proceedings,
“What I am saying is there is nothing like confusion, there is nothing like conflict, there are two distinct and separate cases,” he said.
He added, “So the conclusion as to whether a person should be extradited or not, is a function, or perhaps multilateral function inclusive of the international community that makes a request, the Office of the Attorney General … request and the judiciary to which the request is presented for review, analysis and decision.”