Embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari, has insisted on his innocence of the allegations levelled against him by the US court.
Kyari, who appeared on Thursday before the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Joseph Egbunike-led investigative panel probing allegations of fraud against him, denied receiving an N8 million bribe from the international fraudster, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, as alleged in US court papers.
THISDAY gathered that from a source close to the panel that Kyari, also maintained his position that he was not involved in the $1.1 million scam of a Qatari businessman perpetrated by Hushpuppi and his gang.
“The committee is expected to review his submission next week after which the report and recommendations would be submitted to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba,” the source told THISDAY.
Speaking in a media interview on the matter, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had said the US government was yet to communicate with Nigeria on the matter.
Malami while explaining the process of extradition stated that the United States is expected to write the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who in turn would communicate the justice ministry before any action with regards to extradition could be initiated in a high court of law.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following a warrant of arrest issued by a California District Court, had served the Nigeria Police an arrest warrant for Kyari over his alleged involvement in a $1.1 million fraud perpetrated by Husspuppi.
In a chat with THISDAY, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Tosin Ojaomo, said Nigeria must adhere to the provisions of the constitution on the issue of an extradition request by the United States.
“It is possible that the AGF has not received any communication from the US but the police have started the procedure. It is the prerogative of the AGF to initiate the process and to review the police report.
“The issue of extradition is not automatic. It is also important that the accused could go to the US to clear his name. If he refuses then the extradition process will be activated”, he said.
“It has always been our contention that if the law provides a way to do a particular thing, we must do it in accordance with the law.
“The issue again is that immediately the US issues an international warrant for his arrest to the Interpol, it will no longer be a matter for Nigeria’s extradition process, wherever he is seen outside Nigeria he (Kyari) will be arrested”, he said.
According to him, “We must always think of the provisions of our constitution. An accused person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
“We must not convict anybody. He has to be convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction”.
Meanwhile, Kyari, who appeared before the panel on Wednesday and Thursday, insisted that nobody made any payment to him contrary to the claim made by the suspect in the US.