Mike Ozekhome, Senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cannot treat Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of police (DCP), like a common criminal.
In a Channels TV interview on Tuesday, the lawyer said Kyari is safe under the Nigerian law and cannot be just extradited to the US, even though there is an extradition treaty between both countries.
Kyari was suspended by the Police Service Commission following an indictment by the FBI over alleged bribery from a self confessed fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushuppi.
Hushpuppi alleged that he bribed Kyari to arrest and jail “one of his rivals in Nigeria after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam but Kyari had denied the allegation.
While speaking on the television programme, Ozekhome said Kyari’s fundamental human rights are protected under Section 36 of the Constitution.
“The FBI cannot come into Nigeria and pick Abba Kyari like a common criminal and take him away to America. It is not going to happen, it has never happened before.
“I do not believe it will ever happen. Nigeria is a sovereign state and that must be respected within the boundaries of Nigeria. So if, for example, America is not satisfied with the way Nigeria is handling the matter, they can protest or have call to call or diplomatic discussions.
“Abba Kyari is safe under Nigerian law; he is entitled to his protection under the Constitution of Nigeria, particularly section 36 that presumes his innocence.”
He also said the Attorney-General have to intervene and look at the reason Kyari is being wanted, in order to protect the country’s image.
“The attorney-general is to take over the entire matter; look at the reasons Abba Kyari is being wanted. Are you satisfied that he’s not wanted for a political offence, religious belief, and gender? Are you satisfied that laws over there will grant him fair hearing? Are you satisfied that when he comes there, he will not be delayed and promptly tried; he’ll not be put through unnecessary prolonged detention?” he said.
“Are you satisfied that the laws under which we want to try him will not subject him to different genres of laws when you eventually get him there?
“When the attorney is satisfied with all these under section 6, then he approaches the magistrate’s court or under section 251 of the constitution, he approaches a Federal High Court to issue a bench warrant or warrant of arrest against Kyari. He will then now be detained. He has within 15 days to now extradite Abba Kyari.
“But if the magistrate or the judge discovers certain prerequisites that ought to be done have not been fulfilled, he can refuse to issue the warrant or Abba Kyari can go to the court and nullify the extradition process.”