A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Muiz Banire, have suggested that the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari lso known as Super Cop Kyari can turn himself in over to the International police if he is sure of his innocence and not guilty of the allegations levelled against him by the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California.
The American court had some days back issued an arrest warrant against Kyari for allegedly being part of an alleged international fraud involving five other persons and running into over tune of $1m.
Banire while reacting to the suspension of the police chief by the police commission, on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme stated that Kyari’s indictment by the American court is a big stain on Nigeria’s reputation.
According to the statement by the commission’s Head of Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, the decision by the commission to suspend Abba Kyari was conveyed in a letter signed by a retired justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi.
Banire stated: “Certainly, it is a dent on the image of the country, but we are handling the issue very well so far.
“What is going on is an internal investigation of the matter and, until a prima facie case is established against the officer, he is still presumed innocent.”
Continuing, Banire said, “Even at that, I’m not aware of any specific request for extradition now. All that we have learnt so far now is that there is an arrest warrant issued by a court of law in the United States, the implication of which is that the Interpol is supposed to execute it anywhere the officer [Kyari] is found.”
“He is wanted in the United States for the purpose of prosecution, but then, before a Nigerian citizen can be extradited, there are processes to be followed.
“Although the law is neither here nor there, I know that there is this 1967 Legal Notice that is often relied upon by the Office of Attorney General of the Federation when it comes to the issue of extradition between Nigeria and the United States.
“However, some of us believe that Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution will certainly override that particular Legal Notice and, for that, it cannot be said that there is an extradition treaty that is enforceable between Nigeria and the United States.
“But be that as it may, my expectation is that, before we can even go to that level, the preliminary investigation as it is about to be done is necessary for us to establish a prima facie case before we can trigger the process of any extradition.”
He further stated that the Senior Advocate said that, based on his own point of view, Kyari could turn himself in to the Interpol if he is sure of his innocence.
“In my point of view, morally speaking, in allegation of this nature, there is nothing wrong, particularly if the officer is sure of himself, to even turn himself in; because, so far, there is no complications in the matter, and there is nothing wrong in running there to say, ‘Look, I want to clear my reputation.’
“So, beyond the investigation being done by the government, he can also avail of himself of the opportunity that is already afforded.
“So, as far as law is concerned, what is being done is due process.”
The US Department of Justice, District of California, on July 28 released a statement titled, ‘Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds,’ in which Kyari’s name featured.