• Hushpuppi: AGF confirms reasonable grounds to proceed against Abba Kyari
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said the Federal Government will bring back embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a. Sunday Igboho, to Nigeria after his prosecution in Benin Republic. The AGF spoke, yesterday, on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme.
Igboho was declared wanted by the Department of State Services (DSS) for allegedly stockpiling arms to destabilise Nigeria, an allegation he denied, before he escaped to the neighbouring francophone country in July 2021. But he ran out of luck as he was arrested by the Interpol at a Benin airport when he tried to board a Germany-bound flight.
He had since been remanded in a prison in Benin Republic for over six months where he is said to be facing trial for immigration-related offences, among others.
Commenting on Igboho’s ordeal, Malami said the case is a matter being prosecuted by a foreign country on account of breaching its laws in Benin Republic.
He said: “We’ll allow the law of a nation that was indeed breached to take its natural cause, and then, perhaps, thereafter, bring him back home after the conclusion of the trial for the purpose of facing the Nigerian law that was accordingly breached.”
The position of things is that we are not interfering in aborting the existing prosecution of the foreign land.” The AGF further disclosed that there are reasonable grounds to proceed against suspended celebrity police officer, Abba Kyari, who was fingered in a multi-million dollars fraud spearheaded by Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi.
The U.S. government had, in July 2021, unveiled the charges against Kyari and other alleged co-conspirators. Hushpuppi, a Nigerian Instagram celebrity, until his arrest in Dubai, UAE, in June 2020, is one of the arrowheads of the scam. He has pleaded guilty to the charges in a separate case, and his sentence is billed to come up later in the year.
Police authorities conducted an enquiry into Kyari’s roles in the scam, but continue to keep sealed lips over the outcome, despite persistent demand for the outcome to be released.
But Malami, whose office was forwarded the report of police investigations, confirmed that there “were reasonable grounds to proceed against Kyari by either putting him on trial or extraditing him to the U.S. where charges are pending against him.
“As far as I am concerned, the parties are discussing, the parties are collaborating and there are exchanges of correspondence from the perspective of investigation, from the perspective of extradition and associated things,” he said.
Asked if Kyari was found guilty” in the police report, Malami said: “You can’t find someone guilty, but perhaps, reasonable grounds for suspicion can be established, which will translate into prosecution that will eventually translate to a sentence at the court.”
He added: “That is why we are talking of reasonable grounds for suspicion. Reasonable grounds for suspicion have been established and that will eventually translate to the possibility of prosecution and eventual conviction if at the end of the day one is adjudged guilty by the court of law.
“The position now is that there are prima facie grounds, reasonable grounds for suspicion that have been considered, from the perspective of prosecution and prospect of likely extradition, if the need for such arises. That is what is unfolding in terms of international collaboration.”
Malami also said there was also an ongoing collaboration with the U.S. authorities over Hushpuppi.