The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has petitioned the United States(US) Embassy, Abuja where it lamented what it described as ‘fundamental procedural lapses’ in the conduct of the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
The petition signed by CNG’s Spokesperson, Mr. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman and served on the American Embassy in Abuja on Saturday, August 14, a copy of which was made available to THISDAY on Sunday, said it did not deny the FBI or any other police organisation for that matter, to investigate crimes, but expressed worry by the trajectory introduced around Kyari’s case.
The CNG cited Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right, Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which affirms that everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
It pointed out that the FBI might have invariably breached the standard legal and diplomatic practice by neglecting to contact either the Nigerian High Commission in the US or the Nigerian authorities through the FBI liaison offices based in Nigeria before going ahead to file for indictment of Kyari.
It noted: “A noted a number of fundamental procedural lapses in the conduct of the investigation which tend not only to threaten the sovereign status of Nigeria, but also infringe on its citizen’s rights and civil liberties; threatens the rule of law and confronts the humanity and civilisation that the people United States of America stands for.”
“We also note that the FBI might have breached another fundamental criminal justice procedure by not according Mr. Kyari the benefit of being heard before going ahead with the purported indictment by an American Court in the US for an offence purportedly committed in Nigeria, triable under Nigerian laws, by Nigerian courts and on Nigerian land.
“A breach of decorum and negligence of procedure might have also occurred when the FBI hurriedly published the purported indictment online without first intimating the Nigerian authorities and hearing the accused case.”
The CNG, however, warned that FBI intervention, and actions should not be drawn to discountenance the right of the Nigerian state to protect the legal rights of its citizens.