Says Kaduna govt will lose out on fresh charges against El-Zakzaky

A prominent lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has said the United States must make a formal request for the extradition of Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Abba Kyari.

Kyari was indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the fraud case against Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi in the US.

The indictment was followed by an order for his arrest. This was issued to the FBI by the United States Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California.

Reacting, Ozekhome who spoke to Arise News on Monday stated that the FBI can’t just come to Nigeria to arrest Kyari without going through an extradition process.

According to him, “When America demanded Abba Kyari, I heard people say FBI can now arrest Abba Kyari. No, you cannot do that. Nigeria is a sovereign country for crying out loud, no matter how down in the doldrums we have become.

“FBI cannot simply come here and pick up Abba Kyari. You must go through the extradition process as established in the Extradition Act of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004. You have to look at Sections 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the extradition act.”

Speaking further, Ozekhome pointed out that this is not the first time Nigeria will be having a case of extradition.

“In 1963, Chief Anthony Enahoro was being looked for by the Federal Government of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa. They accused him alongside Obafemi Awolowo and others of committing a treasonable felony. Enahoro found his way to London through Ghana. He ran away.

“So, the Labour Party with their new head, Harold Wilson made it a big deal and using the media very heavily to clamour that Enahoro be not extradited to Nigeria.

“But the government of Harold Mcmillan who was the Minister was caught in between and in betwixt as to the respect for human rights of Anthony Enahoro and not to hurt Nigeria as a political deal. But at the end of the day, Enahoro was extradited to Nigeria and he was tried and jailed for 15 years. It was the Gowon regime that released him and Awolowo and put them in key positions in government so as to drive the country’s progress. So, extradition, therefore, did not start today.

“Going through extradition, the Attorney General of the country has a crucial role to play under the Extradition Act, he and a magistrate, or under Section 251 of the Constitution, a judge of a federal high court.

“The country requesting for extradition, like the US, must make a formal request through its consular or representative in Nigeria, that we want this man in our country.”

The lawyer lamented that the issues involving Kyari, Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Igboho, and the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu are all happening at the same time.

He also said the government was using a devised plan of fresh charges against El-Zakzaky in order to keep him and his wife in custody for more years.

“I expect my friend, Femi Falana, to go to court and say it is an abuse of court process, it’s outright for acquit.”

“They cannot be tried for the same offense or offenses and if they file an appeal, they cannot file appeal simultaneously while filing a new plea. Either way, the government will lose out to El- Zakzaky,” Ozekhome said.

TheNigerialawyer had reported that fresh terrorism and treasonable felony charges were filed against El-Zakzaky.

The new charges are to be jointly prosecuted by the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Justice and the Kaduna State Government.

Ozekhome also said that El-Zakzaky was being persecuted because his ordeal in the hands of the Federal Government had left the realm of prosecution.

According to the Senior Advocate, the Nigerian government should let the poor people, the believer, the suffering people go if they would not be given food, shelter and safety.

He also advised the Nigerian government to excuse itself from religious matters as provided in Section 22 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Shouldn’t Nigerian government look at Section 10 of the Constitution and get out of religious matters to know that the state shall not be trusted in religious matters? They should get out of all these Jerusalem programmes, all these Hajj and Mecca pilgrimage,” he said.

Ozekhome argued that the Nigerian government had no business involving itself in matters of religion when there were no schools, no food to eat and no provision of shelter for many citizens.

El-Zakzaky and his wife were arraigned and detained in 2015 over eight-count charges of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disturbance of public peace.

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