This claim that Abba Kyari has been exonerated is false

CLAIM: Several Facebook posts claim the suspended Deputy Police Commissioner, Abba Kyari, has been exonerated and will soon assume his duties in the Nigerian Police Force.

VERDICT: The claim that Abba Kyari has been exonerated and will soon assume his duties in the Nigerian Police Force is false.

FULL STORY: On Tuesday, September 21, several Facebook posts claimed that the suspended Deputy Police Commissioner, Abba Kyari, has been exonerated and will soon assume his duties in the Nigerian Police Force.

The claim purportedly from the Times News insinuated that Kyari who is being investigated for allegedly receiving a bribe from a popular Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, committed no crime in the United States to warrant his extradition.

A Facebook post by Tori4Town with over 17,000 followers alleged that Abba Kyari will resume his duties soon as investigations show he didn’t commit the crime in the US.

“BREAKING NEWS: According To The Times News, DCP Abba Kyari Will Resume His Duties In The Nigerian Police Soon As Investigations Proves “ He committed no crime on the soil of the US to warrant his extradition.”

claim that Abba Kyari has been exonerated
A screenshot of post by Tori4Town

Another Facebook user, Emma Onye Nkuzi, went further to claim that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) didn’t push for his extradition.

The post reads: “#ME: I told my friends that DCP Abba Kyari will not be extradited to USA because the offense he committed was not on US soil and he is not a USA citizen,he was only indicted by FBI as someone who gets involved with stolen money and FBI never pushed for his extradition they just mentioned his name and one others.”

claim that Abba Kyari has been exonerated
A screenshot of post made by Emma Onye Nkuzi
claim that Abba Kyari has been exonerated
A screenshot showing claim reposted by several Facebook users

VERIFICATION

To begin with, Dubawa visited the website of the Times News to which the claim was attributed and found that there is no story containing the details of the claim on the website.

Dubawa also conducted a keyword search on the news and found that no credible media organisation has published reports on Abba Kyari being exonerated.

To further verify the claim, Dubawa contacted the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, via calls and messages but is still awaiting a response.

Further checks revealed that on July 26, 2021, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) secured a court order to arrest Kyari and to hold him in U.S. custody for his role in the fraud perpetrated by Hushpuppi.

According to the US department of justice, international extradition is a legal process by which a person convicted or accused of committing a crime is transferred from one country to another country for prosecution or to serve a sentence following a conviction for a criminal offence.

The department further explained that international extradition in the United States is treaty-based, which means the United States must have an extradition treaty with the requesting country in order to consider the request for extradition.

On December 22, 1931, Nigeria signed an extradition treaty with the United States. The treaty came into force on June 24, 1935, and was applicable to all British colonies, including Nigeria. Since then Nigeria has extradited several persons to the United States for various reasons ranging from drug, advance fee fraud, and terrorism-related offences.

Can Abba Kyari escape extradition?

Article 5 of the treaty between Nigeria and the United States states that extradition shall not take place if the accused person has already been tried and discharged or punished, or is still under trial in the territories of the High Contracting Party applied to, for the crime or offence for which his extradition is demanded.

Also, extradition will not take place if the accused person is still under examination or under punishment until the conclusion of the trial.

Kyari is currently being investigated, hence the reason he cannot be extradited yet. If he is found guilty, Nigeria has the option of prosecuting him or handing him over to the US based on the existing treaty.

However, on Thursday, August 27, the NPF Special Investigation Panel (SIP) investigating the fraud allegations levelled against Kyari submitted its report to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba. The report contains the case file of the probe, evidence, findings as well as testimonies from DCP Abba Kyari and other persons and groups linked to the matter.

While giving an update on Kyari’s extradition, the Police Affairs Minister, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, in an interview on Tuesday, September 14, explained that the final decision on the request for extradition of Kyari would be taken only by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He added that the report submitted to the IGP has also been forwarded to the minister of justice for a legal opinion before a final action is taken by the president.

“We have also reported that the committee has submitted its report to the Inspector General of Police.  We have also submitted this report and recommendations to the Attorney-General of the Federation for a legal opinion.  Thereafter, we will take it to Mr President for final consideration.

“So, you can see that though this matter is a local matter here, it has some international connotations.  We have to do some due diligence to ensure that we do the right thing. We have to do some consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice before a final decision will be taken.

“What is important is that Nigerians should know that the police management is up and doing and it has done what it is supposed to do. I hope people will wait and see what actions will be taken on this matter,” he said.

CONCLUSION

The claim that Abba Kyari has been exonerated and will soon assume his duties in the Nigerian Police Force is false. Findings have revealed that no credible media organisation has published reports on the claim.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with The Nigerian Tribune to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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