By Romanus Okoye
Following the United States District Court order to arrest the Head, Nigerian Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, over his alleged role in a multi-million dollar fraud perpetrated by Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, and his co-conspirators, Nigerian lawyers have been x-raying the fate of the super cop.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was ordered to immediately arrest and detain DCP Abba Kyari for allegedly benefiting from the proceeds of the fraud. However, Kyari has denied any involvement, insisting that he and his men merely responded to a distress call from Hushpuppi and never collected a kobo from him. Foremost security expert and lawyer, Dr. Ody Ajike has said it is a ‘sort of misplaced sophistication by US authorities’.
According to him, Kyari is a neutral and competent professional who has made giant strides in curbing predatory kidnapping and other various types of criminal insurgencies in Nigeria.
He said: “The recent publicised order by a US court for the arrest and detention of DCP Abba Kyari is a sort of misplaced sophistication by US authorities.
“It’s actually in the shade of the usual US character of exerting messianic responsibilities around the world to suit their purposes and alter their internal contradictions. I agree a court can make such wide orders but we must understand the role of the US in the politics of insecurity in Nigeria.
“DCP Abba Kyari did not commit any offence on US soil or any offence denting the integrity of the US financial system. Why then grant an order for his arrest? I think the Nigerian State should resist the enforcement of such an order and treat it as a ploy to destabilize our internal security mechanism, in which Kyari is playing a very critical role.” Kyari can go to court and question it because there is procedure for enforcement of foreign judgement.
“They will first register it here through Mutual Assistance Legal programme, which the US has with Nigeria. Through this they have been taking people from here. He should question that order; the order is questionable. It is an indictment on him based on investigation.
“The court in US doesn’t have worldwide jurisdiction. What they will do is to come and register the order here and enforce it through government channel. It is at this point that Kyari can go to court and question it, and a court here can quash it. That was what the late Senator Kashamu Buruji did and they couldn’t take him. But, he won’t go outside Nigeria even to Dubai or they will arrest him. It is a big problem, but it depends on how he handles it,” Ajike said.
Also, Executive Director, Centre for Transparency and Defence of Human Rights, Kunle Edun, said, “Abba Kyari is entitled to be heard and to respond to the allegations. However, the FBI is not like Nigeria Police Force that has the nasty penchant of arresting suspects without proper investigation. FBI is very thorough in its investigation. If the FBI has this load of evidence against Kyari, the police force may have a herculean task to debunk them.”
In the same vein, Robert Igbinedion, noted that the crime for which Abass (Hushpuppi) had been indicted is of international dimension with accomplices living in different parts of the world. Mr Abba Kyari’s indictment by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States is weighty.
Development Law Practitioner and Pioneer Council Secretary of NBA-Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL), Victor Akazue Nwakasi, said that “there is no doubt left that that a criminal complaint has been made against the police chief as being reported and as shown by documents so far viewed.
“But a criminal complaint and an indictment merely contain allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Both the US Constitution and Nigerian Constitution provide for this cardinal principle and that would and should guide the conduct of the case going forward.
“The above situation is in my opinion in the first instance. The issue of extradition for the US case or not is dependent on how the relevant authorities in US or Nigeria considers it relevant in furtherance of the matter.”