Sunday, September 19, 2021

The hypocrisy of calling for Abba Kyari’s extradition and opposing Igboho’s extradition, by Bala Ibrahim

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By now, it’s no longer news that DCP Abba Kyari, one of the highly popular police officers in Nigeria is being investigated by the FBI, for allegedly getting into a compromised relationship with a celebrity fraudster Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi.

Abba Kyari, according to a report from the FBI, ALLEGEDLY received an undisclosed sum of money from Hushpuppi, who pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering through cybercrime schemes. The emphasis on allegedly is mine, because Abba had denied the allegations.

According to the Nigeria police spokesman Frank Mba, an internal investigation has been ordered by IGP Alkali Usman Baba, sequel to the receipt of allegations and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against DCP Abba Kyari.

Since the start of the infamy, there seems to be a potent public outrage, arbitrarily casting aspersion on the accused, condemning him as morally wrong, and by extension, legally guilty. This is against the principle of fair play, I think.

No one is saying Abba Kyari should be speared, if there is evidence to pronounce him guilty. But let the conviction come after a fair trial.

Article 66 on Human Rights deals with the presumption of innocence, and it says, everyone shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty before the Court, in accordance with the applicable law. In order to convict the accused, the Court must be convinced of the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

Certainly the ambition of the above article is to arrest the apportioning of arbitrary aspersions on people like Abba.

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It may be recalled that in 1998, a former senator, late Buruji Kashamu was arrested by operatives of the Metropolitan Police in London, on drug trafficking allegations. Earlier, the accused had been indicted by United States authorities for allegedly being the mastermind of a heroin smuggling ring. After his arrest and incarceration in the UK, the U.S. commenced a process to have him extradited to America, to face trial, but that process was scuttled because of some arbitrariness. Till his death, due to complications occasioned by the coronavirus, Sen. Buruji Kashamu could not be extradited to the US, despite the readiness of the Obasanjo administration to sacrifice him.

Rulings were given by the courts, which relied on the provisions of the law, including article 66, which sought to arrest the apportioning of arbitrary aspersion on people like Kashamu and Kyari.

It is instructive to note the same people that were campaigning against the extradition of Kashamu, are now in the forefront of the campaign for the extradition of Kyari. Nothing more is needed to demonstrate double standards. Yes, using a principle, which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people is nothing but double standards.

I am not a fan of Femi Fani Kayode. I detest his style of politics, but even in his strange and extraordinary character, he condemned the quick conclusion given to the Kyari accusations. He said and I quote, “When my friend Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace was indicted by the FBI, and the Americans demanded that he be extradited, we stood by him. Onyema was later vindicated. Why can’t we do the same to Abba? Is it wrong for us to ask them to show us hard evidence of his crime first?

In Nigeria, because of the ample abundance of cynics, who believe that some people are only motivated by self-interest rather than honour, there is always a chorus of celebration, when a person in authority suffers a setback. For some reasons, the chorus seems to be louder, if the calamity falls on a serving police officer. Why?

Tafa Balogun was the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police when he was arrested and charged to court in a dehumanizing manner. The then Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu had this to say, “Tafa Balogun was my boss as the Inspector-General of Police, but he crossed the line. He did things that were wrong and was brought to our attention, and the law took its course”.

But despite his attested credibility, integrity and incorruptibility, that made him refused a bribe of $15 million in cash in a bag, from Governor James Ibori, in the end, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was unceremoniously thrown out of office and compelled to go on exile, to the applause of the cynics. Why?

Until about this time last year, Ibrahim Magu was the acting chairman of the EFCC, the most dreaded agency in Nigeria when it comes to financial crimes. In broad daylight, and in a manner reminiscent to a commando style operation, Magu was picked by security agents and whisked to detention, because the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had accused him of insubordination and re-looting of recovered funds. The cynics were quick to jubilate on that. Why?

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Different quotes are currently circulating in the social media, depicting the contradictory positions of some people that are condemning the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu abroad, and also against the plans of Nigeria to extradite Sunday Igboho from Cotonou in Benin Republic, but pushing for same to be done to DCP Abba Kyari. Why? Double standards cannot have a better name.

According to a security expert and Lawyer, Dr. Garus Gololo, it would be totally wrong for the Nigerian government to release such a global class super cop, who is an envy of the whole world. “The International Criminal Law allows any country to carry out an in-house investigation or trial of any suspected citizen of the nation, such as the allegation against Kyari since it is not an act of terrorism against a foreign country. Let Kyari be tried in Nigeria according to our own law. What they are accusing him of is not an act of terrorism or money laundering. They said he allegedly received bribes and I think that is the duty of ICPC to investigate and if it is found to be true, Kyari should be prosecuted and jailed according to our law”.

I stand with Dr. Garus Gololo and against those casting arbitrary aspersion on Abba.

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