Perspective: Of Abba Kyari, Drug Trafficking, Extradition and Conspiracy Theories


By Obinna Akpuchukwu

Even if you do not believe the conspiracy theory surrounding the allegation of “drug trafficking” levelled against Abba Kyari, I do not think it is wise to out rightly dismiss the “conspiracy theory” as unfounded.

Nigeria may not necessarily be bound by law to extradite Abba Kyari, but they will definitely want to hold on to any semblance of legal justification for refusing to turn him over, at least for the purpose of diplomacy.

There are a lot of loopholes in the whole “sting operation”. For starters, how is it that an officer said to be under suspension from the Nigerian Police Force is still leading a team of Police operatives, especially one involved in such sensitive operation?

Again, from the press release by the NDLEA, it was Abba Kyari who first contacted the officers of the NDLEA to tell them about the arrest and confiscation of drugs made by his team and then told the NDLEA officer that he and his team took part of the drugs. Does that even make sense? Did he need to disclose this to the NDLEA officer? He and his team could have handed over any quantity of drug to the NDLEA as the quantity recovered from the drug peddler. There was no way the NDLEA would have known the actual quantity the Police recovered. The arrested drug culprits could not have known the quantity actually disclosed to the NDLEA by Abba Kyari and his team. Even if the arrested drug trafficker finds out that the quantity handed over to the NDLEA was reduced, there was no way he could have told the NDLEA about it and even if he does tell them, it would be his words against those of the Police officers led by Abba Kyari.

ALSO READ   Supreme Court and the Slow Grinding Wheel of Justice - Oladipo Okubanjo

Also look at the speed with which everything was done. Throughout the text of the Press Release by the NDLEA, there was no mention of the fact that the “remaining cocaine” was recovered from Abba Kyari and tested in the National Laboratory and found to be cocaine. How do you hurriedly conduct such a “high profile investigation” without recovering and testing the exhibit?

In drug trafficking cases, a confessional statement must be backed by a laboratory result confirming the substance to be a hard drug, otherwise, the confession alone cannot ground a conviction. This is too elementary for the NDLEA to not know, if indeed there was a real investigation.

The watery nature of the purported investigation done so far as contained in the NDLEA Press Release further lends credence to the theory that the “investigation” and press release is a smokescreen.

Now, Section 3 subsection 6 (a) and (b) of the Extradition Act, Cap E25, LFN 2004 provides as follows:

“A fugitive criminal-

(a) who has been charged with an offence under the law of Nigeria or any part thereof, not being the offence for which his surrender is sought; or

(b) who is serving a sentence imposed in respect of any such offence by a court in Nigeria,

shall not be surrendered until such a time as he has been discharged whether by acquittal or on the expiration of his sentence, or otherwise.”

The above quoted provisions of the Extradition Act is self explanatory.

Of course, we know that there is generally no limitation of time in criminal cases, even in the US. This means that Abba Kyari can always be charged in the US for the alleged financial crimes years later. But we all know that the major concern now is to douse the diplomatic heat on Nigeria to extradite him to the US to face criminal charges. Like I said earlier, Nigeria may not be under any legal obligation to extradite him to the US, but the Nigerian Government would not want to be seen to be openly shielding a suspect.

ALSO READ   Disobedience of Court Orders by Comptroller-General is Unhealthy for Democracy – Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN

Culled from Facebook Post


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here