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Hushpuppi: Why I Don’t Want To Face Trial In US, Abba Kyari Tells Court

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The detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja not to okay his extradition to the United States of America, to face trial over his alleged involvement with a notorious internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
Kyari, who is currently in prison custody for drug related charges, in fresh processes he filed before the court, alleged that the plan to send him to the U.S. for prosecution, was for the purpose of punishing him.
Insisting that his arrest and subsequent detention had “political undertone”, the embattled DCP told the court that the request to extradite him to the USA was “directed to undermine the crackdown on various crime gangs by the Respondent in Nigeria and internationally”.
Kyari, in a counter-affidavit that was deposed to by his younger brother, Mohammed, maintained that all the allegations pending against him, are not extraditable offences.
“I know as a fact that the specified offences are of a political character and were in fact made for the purpose of prosecuting and punishing the Respondent on account of his race, nationality and was not made in good faith nor in the interest of Justice”, the deponent averred.
Kyari, told the court that he is a highly decorated senior police officer that was already carrying out a “sting investigation” on Ramon Olorunwa Abbas or Abdulraman Imraan Juma, otherwise known as Hushpuppi, before he was framed up and arrested.
“A copy of the letter written by the Respondent to the Interpol on January 28, 2020 and to the Inspector General of Police on March 3, 2020 in respect of the sting investigation being carried out by the Respondent are herewith attached as Exhibit 1a & 1b, respectively. This was five months before the arrest of Ramon Abbas and others by the FBI.
“The request for the extradition is not supported by any document or verifiable evidence.
“The request is directed to undermine the crackdown on various crime gangs by the Respondent in Nigeria and internationally and has political undertone.
“The request is for purposes of persecuting or punishing the Respondent on account of his defence for the country.
“The Respondent is confronted with series of charges to break him down because of his achievements and various National honours. A copy of the charge framed against the Respondent by the NDLEA is herewith attached as Exhibit 2.
“The offences are trumped up and the Respondent is seriously committed to defending himself.
“The Application for extradition processes clearly shows allegation of crimes committed on Nigeria soil. A copy of the alleged charge framed against the Respondent by the US Government is herewith attached as Exhibit 3.
“The Respondent has undergone administrative inquiry which is still ongoing and has not been completed to date on the same matter.
“The Respondent is a Deputy Commissioner of Police in the employment of the Nigeria Police who is highly decorated with meritorious service/excellent awards for outstanding service to the nation and has nowhere to run to.
“The Respondent has equally been decorated by the US Authorities.
“Having regards to all the circumstances thereof, it will be unjust, oppressive and improper to surrender the Respondent to the USA.
“We also further submit that the alleged extradition offences are not listed and cannot be imported into it. For any offences to be extradition offences, it must carry the twin head of being listed in the extradition Treaty and has similar or analogous offence in Nigeria.
“The instant case has failed this test. We will rely on the list of Treaty. Equally, there is an ongoing criminal trial against the Respondent in FHC/ABJ/CR/57/2022, which the Applicant failed to disclose.
“Finally, the Respondent submits that the Applicant’s request concealed the ongoing criminal proceedings against the Respondent and it will prove that on the merit, this application is deserving of being dismissed and the Respondent to be discharged accordingly for the above and other reasons herein”, he added.
Enumerating some of his achievements in the police, Kyari told the court that he was awarded a Presidential medal for courage on April 1, 2016, “three times IGP Commendation for Courage for years 2012, 2013 and 2014, two times recipient of NPF Gold Medal, three times Governor‘s Commendation Medal for Courage & Excellence by the Lagos State Government for years 2011, 2012 and 2013, Award for Outstanding Service to the Nation by the National Assembly (House of Representatives) 2020 and over170 more awards that are too numerous to mention.
“The Respondent has been involved in several national assignments and has in the course of his assignments made many foes.
“The respondent has received several international awards and honours including United States of America where he received Commendation Award from the FBI for rescuing Americans kidnapped in Nigeria, arresting the kidnappers and arrest of murderers of a serving American soldier killed in Imo state”, the counter affidavit further read.
However, the Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr.AbubakarMalami, SAN, in its own affidavit that was deposed to by one Bello AbubakarSholadoye, said it has sufficient evidence to warrant Kyari’s extradition to the U.S. for trial.
It told the court that the office of the AGF, “was in receipt of Extradition request vide a diplomatic channel for the extradition of the Respondent fugitive wanted to stand trial in the USA.
“That the AGF is satisfied that there is no bar to the extradition application”.
The Federal Government, argued that Kyari’songoing trial for drug trafficking would not stop the court from approving his extradition, stressing that surrounding him to the U.S. Government could be postponed by the AGF till the conclusion of his trial in Nigeria.
“In conclusion, this Honourable Court is respectfully urged to resolve that the Applicant has placed sufficient material before this Honourable Court to grant the application for extradition order and the extradition of the fugitive and his remand to await the Surrender Order of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation at determination of the criminal charge against him”, Federal Government added.
Meanwhile, Justice InyangEkwo has adjourned the matter till Friday to enable Federal Government’s lawyer, Mr. Pius Akutah, to respond to Kyari’s preliminary objection against his planned extradition.
The court said it would take both the objection and the substantive suit together.
Kyari is wanted in the U.S. to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.
A grand jury had in April 29, 2021, filed an indictment against him with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, afterwhich a warrant was issued for his arrest.

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N’Delta Leaders Insist On Resource Control, Self-Determination

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Some leaders of the Niger Delta have demanded granting of self-determination to their region to take total control of its resources and end years of alleged exploitation, deprivation and slavery of their people in the Nigerian state.
The leaders, who lamented that the people of the Niger Delta had been talking and agitating for resource control and restructuring of the country through conferences but to no avail, said the time had come for them to take their destiny in their hands.
In a keynote address at a conference by the Niger Delta Alternative Convergence (NDAC) to endorse the eight-point demand in the “Niger Delta Manifesto for Socio-Ecological Justice” in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, former Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian, Prof. G. G. Darah, said: “From the challenges we are facing in the Niger Delta region, we seem to assume that the Federal Government is on our side whereas the Federal Government is the number one enemy of the Niger Delta.
“Today, people are anxious to be the president of Nigeria because there is the Niger Delta oil for them to squander. What this means is that the political system is all organised for taking control of the oil money, to share it among the friends of the president. All the parties are organised gangs to loot and plunder the Niger Delta resources.
“That is the country we are in. Therefore, we must assume that whatever government that comes to office in 2023 will not be different from the past ones since 1960. Nigeria has been designed to steal our resources and share. They gather monthly in Abuja to share the money. All our presidents, now and past, occupied office for the purpose of plundering our resources, otherwise our own son would have done something. Jonathan, when he was president, had no capacity to touch any bad section of the constitution against the Niger Delta”.
According to Darah, “Nigeria exists today because of Niger Delta oil and Nigeria is the only country in the world that has colonised its people.
“Now, we are pleading that the Federal Government should implement the manifesto. We have to do it by ourselves because if you look at history, it is not today that our people have been fighting against injustice. Jonathan called for a national conference and all the issues raised could not be implemented. So, what we are doing now is the authentication of the national conference for Nigerian people.
“The structure of Nigeria is against us and to build a new Nigeria will take time. We need a Niger Delta that will be in charge of its own resources and aim to be a country of its own, a sovereign country. Some ethnic groups in the Niger Delta are bigger than some European countries and our ancestors in their grave will not forgive us that we succumbed cheaply. We are well populated”.
Prof. Lucky Akaruese of the Ishekiri nationality aligned with the position of Darah, noting that many countries of the world like East Timo and Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, Denmark and Norway, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union that split into many countries are products of negotiations, so the Niger Delta and Nigeria cannot be an exception.
A prominent traditional ruler from Rivers State backed the demand for a sovereign state.
“I agree with Prof. Darah that we should clamour for Niger Delta Republic, and the manifesto we are signing today, we should speak with one voice. We have been talking and now it is only action that will bring result. There is nothing the Niger Delta has gotten without struggle.
“The manifesto will remain a document if we do not put it to action. The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) presented a 16-point agenda but only two were implemented. So, we need to take a deliberate action on some of the issues we raise here.”
The convener of NDAC and Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Comrade Nnimmo Bassey, said: “The convergence also aims to produce an inclusive Niger Delta Manifesto for Socio-Ecological Justice highlighting needed alternatives for transformation and social mobilisations for resource justice. It is hoped that NDAC will provoke a platform for convergence of communities in the region to galvanise action for needed changes for re-source access, including through demands for legislative changes, debates on the Petroleum Industry Bill and for critical attainment of re-source democracy – defined as the right of a people to live in harmony with nature and to retain a right to use, or not use, the gifts of nature.”
He stated that 64 years of oil extraction had brought untold misery and cut life abysmally low in the region.
“Things cannot continue this way. We have demands and resolves in the proposed Niger Delta Manifesto shared to delegates. Let’s all rise to be counted, demand that politicians declare their environmental plans before they gain our votes. Let us demand real climate action, including a halt to gas flaring and a restoration of our ecosystems. Let us demand action to stall the washing away of our communities. After 64 years of a nightmare, it is time to wake up, it is time to demand socio-ecological justice. We are not calling for charity, we are calling for justice”.
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, and the National Chairman of PANDEF, Senator Ibok Essien, clamoured for restructuring and total control of resources.
They pleaded with the people of the region to get their PVCs to vote people that will carry out restructuring of the country.

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Nwuke Dismisses Wike’s Alleged Plan To Dump PDP

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A former member of the House of Representatives, Ogbonna Nwuke, last Friday, dismissed the speculations that Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, would soon dump the Peoples Democratic Party.
There have been insinuations that Wike might join either the Labour Party or the New Nigeria Political Party (NNPP) ahead of the 2023 general election.
This is coming after the governor met with the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi; and the presidential candidate of NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in Port Harcourt, last week.
While speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt,Nwuke said Wike has no plans to dump the PDP for any other party.
He further stated that the Rivers State governor would not defect considering the large followership he has built across the country.
Nwuke said, ”It just tells you who Governor Wike is. This is the first time he is playing national politics. But you can see that Wike has entered the minds of a lot of Nigerians. They are taking him seriously. Even the performance at the convention where the North rallied behind the scene to stop him, did not end in disgrace.
“So, if you look at the outcome of the convention, you will know that Governor Wike controls a sizable number of PDP members. A huge segment of the party is behind him. When you look at the gap between him and Atiku Abubakar and the gap between him and the rest, that should tell you something that the one we have been talking about has become notable when it comes to Nigeria’s politics.
“Frankly, he has followership in the North-Central; followership in the South-West; followership in the South-South and followership in the South-East. So, I am not surprised that a lot of people are coming to Port Harcourt, and saying, ‘Governor, why not come fully into the campaigns?’ They need him in the PDP house, and I am glad that Governor Wike has said ‘I am not going anywhere’.”

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2023: Guber Candidate Faults INEC On APC, LP Placeholders 

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in Delta State, Engr Igbini Emmanuel, has said it is not out of place for presidential flagbearers to choose placeholders, especially as it conforms to the new Electoral Act that has been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that some presidential flagbearers picked vice Presidential candidates as placeholders, prompting reactions from cross sections of Nigerians.
Odefe said INEC erred by discrediting the candidates that picked placeholders in the build up to the general election in 2023.
He said, “As a political activist and a former three-time governorship candidate, I am compelled to react to the recent claim by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through its National Commissioner, Barr. Festus Okoye, that there exists no place in Nigerian Constitution and Legal Framework for what is now described as “placeholders” in Nigeria’s electoral process specifically as it concerns submission, change or substitution of names of candidates for general elections by registered political parties.
“This claim by INEC is a fundamental falsehood deliberately made by it to mislead Nigerian voters and to cast aspersion on some political parties like APC and Labour Party which publicly disclosed that the names they submitted to INEC as their Vice Presidential Candidates were meant only to beat the June 17, 2022 date set by INEC but which they may change or substitute within the window provided by the sections 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2021, as amended to do so.
“Contrary to INEC’s claim, I wish to state unequivocally that actions taken by APC and LP are constitutional and in line with sections 29, 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2021, as amended. The use of the word, “Placeholder” is merely misinterpreted by INEC. “Placeholder” simply means that it is not substantive but temporarily standing in for something or someone else. The word is used in solving Algebraic Expression and Equations in Mathematics.
“Let me also inform Nigerians that this idea of changing or substituting candidates for general elections have been in our electoral laws of 2006, 2010 and now 2021, as amended.
“Furthermore, it is imperative for me to inform Nigerians that changing or substituting candidates for elections is not limited to only Vice Presidential Candidates as we now seem to focus on. In fact, all names so far submitted by Political Parties to INEC as Presidential, Vice Presidential, Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly Candidates are all “Placeholders” and can be changed or substituted before the 90 days to date of election, after which, no change or substitution is allowed except in case of death of a candidate.
“In conclusion, APC and LP have not acted against the Constitution and Electoral Act of Nigeria”.

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