Festus Ogun, a legal practitioner, says the drug case against Abba Kyari may affect his extradition to the United States as demanded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The FBI is prosecuting Ramon Abbas a.k.a. Hushpuppi for charges bordering on business email compromise (BEC) and money laundering.
In August 2021, the agency asked Nigeria to hand the suspended police officer over to respond to allegations against him.
On Monday, Kyari and others were arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for alleged links with an international narcotics cartel.
The ex-Police IRT commander is accused of helping a Brazil-Ethopia-Nigeria ring to compromise the probe of 25 kilogram of cocaine seized by the NDLEA.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ogun, a human rights activist, quoted Section 3(6) of the Extradition Act of 1966 to buttress his view.
It statesld that a fugitive criminal serving a sentence in Nigeria, shall not be surrendered until when discharged whether by acquittal or expiration of sentence.
The lawyer said any extradition application made against Kyari could be rejected if the NDLEA decides to charge him with an offence other than that of the FBI.
“While it is desirable that the NDLEA gets to the root of this drug cartel matter involving Abba Kyari by ensuring that those found wanting after thorough investigation are charged, such an action will only succeed in hindering and frustrating his extradition.
“The law remains that no individual can be successfully extradited from Nigeria to any other country if a criminal proceeding, different from the fugitive’s extradition’s crime, is pending in a Nigerian court.”
Ogun noted that Nigeria’s Attorney-General could play a huge role in ensuring that substantial justice is done in both matters.
“Even where the NDLEA goes ahead to prosecute Kyari for his drug related crimes, the Attorney-General has enormous powers under Section 174(1)(c) of the 1999 Constitution to discontinue to give way for his extradition proceedings”, he added.