Hushpuppi: Northern groups write US Embassy, demand fairness for Kyari

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has written to the United States Embassy in Nigeria, demanding fairness for suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari over his alleged involvement in Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, commonly known as Hushpuppi fraud case.

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The United States Department of Justice had said ongoing investigations showed that Hushpuppi allegedly bribed Kyari to arrest one Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, one of his accomplices in Nigeria.

In a court document released by the United States Department of Justice on Wednesday, titled: ‘Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds’, Kyari was said to have been bribed to arrest one Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, 40, in Nigeria, who created bogus documents and arranged for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line to support the defrauding of a business person trying to provide $1.1m for the funding of a school in Qatar.

According to Daily Trust, the Northern groups in a letter sent to the American Embassy in Abuja, said it was worried by the trajectory introduced around Kyari’s case.

CNG stated that it did not deny the FBI or any other police organisation has the right to investigate the crimes allegedly committed by the cop, but it appealed that he should be treated fairly.

The petition, signed by the group’s spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, maintained that some “fundamental procedural lapses in the conduct of the investigation which tend not only to threaten the sovereign status of Nigeria but also infringe on its citizen’s rights and civil liberties; threaten the rule of law and confront the humanity and civilisation that the people of the United States of America stands for.”

The body said it specifically noted that the FBI might invariably have breached the standard legal and diplomatic practice by neglecting to contact either the Nigerian High Commission in the US or the Nigerian authorities through the FBI liaison offices based in Nigeria before going ahead to file for the indictment of a top Nigerian Security Officer.

“We also note that the FBI might have breached another fundamental criminal justice procedure by not according Mr Kyari the benefit of being heard before going ahead with the purported indictment by an American Court in the US for an offence purportedly committed in Nigeria, triable under Nigerian laws, by Nigerian courts and on Nigerian land.

“A breach of decorum and negligence of procedure might have also occurred when the FBI hurriedly published the purported indictment online without first intimating the Nigerian authorities and hearing the accused’s case,” the petition partly read.

The CNG cited Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right, Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which affirms that everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

The Northern groups reminded the US that its bilateral friendship with Nigeria is guided by the principles of sovereignty, promotion of peace, and the standards that guide legitimate interference.

It warned that their intervention, exclamations, and actions should not be drawn to discountenance the right of the Nigerian state to protect the legal rights of its citizens.

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