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NDLEA Says Charges Filed Against Abba Kyari Would Not Prevent His Extradition

NDLEA Says Charges Filed Against Abba Kyari Would Not Prevent His Extradition 

The NDLEA asks Nigerians to quit placing unwarranted significance into specific measures taken by the agency.

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) maintains it did not bring charges against suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari to prevent his extradition to the United States, contrary to social media speculation.

Kyari was arrested on February 14, 2022, only hours after the NDLEA proclaimed him wanted for suspected narcotics trafficking.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America had indicted Kyari in a fraud conspiracy involving an Instagram star, Ramon Abbas alias Hushpuppi, and four others in 2021, before to his detention.

However, many Nigerians on social media speculated that Kyari’s arrest in February for drug trafficking was a ruse to prevent his extradition to the United States to answer questions about claims of wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.

In response to the reports of Kyari’s arrest, NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi claimed in a Twitter post that the agency’s accusations against the disgruntled cop were not intended to prevent his extradition.

“I would love to state that the NDLEA did not file charges against these individuals just yesterday. The charges were filed against them since February 28, 2022. The matter has been assigned to a judge and the suspects are due for arraignment in court on Monday, March 7, before Court 8 of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“This is to correct the insinuation that probably the NDLEA rushed to court to go and file charges after extradition charges were filed against one of the key suspects.

“In our case, we have charged seven persons, not just an individual alone. This is to correct the impression so that people would not keep reading unnecessary meaning into certain actions by the agency,” he said.

Babafemi also explained why Kyari was not paraded, stating that the NDLEA does not parade suspects like other law enforcement organizations.

He said, “We do not parade suspects. We have never paraded any suspects. That is the truth. I have never brought any suspects before newsmen. What we do most times is that when we issue a statement on our activities, we select some pictures of the exhibits, sometimes with the suspects there, just to show the public because we have a very cynical society that even with pictures, still a number of people would say it is not possible.

“So, you sometimes need pictures or videos to support the statement you are issuing out so that people can actually see and believe that. Beyond that some of these things also serve as deterrent to would-be offenders or those who are already in such line of criminality so that they can see that one day they can also be caught.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Federal Government has granted Kyari’s extradition request from US officials.

Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, stated this recently in a television interview.

In an affidavit filed in favor of Kyari’s extradition, Malami stated that the crime for which Kyari’s extradition is sought is not political nor insignificant.

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