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A federal high court in Abuja has rejected an application by the federal government seeking to extradite Abba Kyari, suspended deputy commissioner of police (DCP), to the United States to face criminal charges.

Kyari is wanted in the United States over alleged conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

Delivering judgment on Monday, Inyang Ekwo, the judge, held that the application filed through the office of the attorney-general of the federation was “incompetent and bereft of merit”.

Ekwo held that the AGF being the chief law officer of the country, should be aware that the Extradition Act prevents the surrender of a defendant who is currently being tried by a local court of competent jurisdiction.

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The court questioned why the AGF had requested extradition since he had also given the National Drug Law Enforcement (NDLEA) a fiat to bring charges against Kyari relating to drug trafficking.

“The AGF could not say that he was not aware of the pending proceeding against the defendant which was entered against him by the NDLEA,” the judge said.

He said the law was clear that Kyari, having been arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction in the country, “shall not be surrendered until such case has been discharged either by his conviction or acquittal”.

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Consequently, the court dismissed the suit for being incompetent.

A grand jury had, on April 29, 2021, filed an indictment against Kyari with the approval of the US district court for the Central District of California, after which a warrant was issued for his arrest.

In July 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicted Kyari in a $1.1 million fraud involving Hushpuppi, the self-confessed international fraudster.

In August 2021, Usman Baba, inspector-general of police, received the report of a panel set up to probe the allegation against the officer.

The report was thereafter sent to the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), who then filed an extradition application against Kyari on March 2.

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