1) WHAT IS EXTRADITION AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCE
WOULD EXTRADITION BE EMPLOYED?
Extradition is a process whereby one country or jurisdiction delivers a
person accused or convicted of committing a crime in another country or
jurisdiction, over the other’s law enforcement.
It is a cooperative law enforcement procedure between the two jurisdictions
and depends on the arrangements made between them. In addition to legal
aspects of the process, extradition also involves the physical transfer of
custody of the person being extradited to the legal authority of the
In an extradition process, one sovereign state typically makes a formal
request to another sovereign state (“the requested state”). If the fugitive is
found within the territory of the requested state, then the requested state
may arrest the fugitive and subject him or her to its extradition process. The
extradition procedures to which the fugitive will be subjected are dependent
on the law and practice of the requested state.
Between countries, extradition is normally regulated by treaties. Where
extradition is compelled by laws, such as among sub-national jurisdictions,
the concept may be known more generally as rendition.
2) DOES THE NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM RECOGNIZE EXTRADITION?
IF YES, WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE EMPLOYED?
Nigeria as a sovereign state recognizes Extradition, as such, it has several
laws and treaties guiding the extradition of its citizens, residents or fugitive
accused of one criminal offence or the other, to other countries where such
offence(s) was allegedly committed.
Extradition is a procedure that can only be employed at the international
level since it involves the surrendering of a person from one jurisdiction to
another. As such, it must be initiated by certain government officials, such
as the Attorney General of a Federation just like in the case of Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the Extradition Act of 1966 governs extradition matters. Also,
Nigeria is a signatory to an extradition treaty with the United States, which
was signed on December 22, 1931, by the United Kingdom but took effect
in 1935. The actual treaty was between the UK and the US. Automatically,
Nigeria was bound by the treaty because it was a colony of the UK as at
then. At Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the treaty became a statute of
general application as was the case with all laws inherited from the colonial
masters. Since then, it has been part of the nation’s legal system.
Article 16 of the treaty provides as follows:
“This treaty shall apply in the same manner as if they were possessions of
His Britannic Majesty to the following British Protectorates, that is to say.
Nigeria is bound by the treaty, which was ratified through subsequent laws
such as the Extradition Act of 1966, the (Extradition Modification) Order,
2014, the Extradition Act (Proceedings) Rules, 2015, and other international treaties.
Section 6 of the Extradition Act, CAP E25, LFN 2004 spells out the
procedure for the Extradition of an International offender in Nigeria.
In accordance with the Act, for an extradition process to commence in
Nigeria first of all, there must be a diplomatic request from the
representative of the requesting country to the Attorney-General of the
Federation. The request must be accompanied by a duly authenticated
warrant of arrest or certificate of conviction issued by that country to
Secondly, the Attorney-general of the federation after looking into the case
presented by the requesting country, may make an order to a court
requesting that the case be determined for extradition.
Note that the Attorney-general also has the power to reject the extradition
request if the alleged offence has political colouration or the alleged offender
is being targeted on the basis of race, religion or nationality. The Act states
“6 (a) A request for the surrender of a fugitive criminal of any country shall
be made in writing to the attorney-general by a diplomatic representative or
consular officer of that country and shall be accompanied by a duly
authenticated warrant of arrest or certificate of conviction issued in that
”(b) Where such a request is made to him, the attorney-general may by an
order under his hand signify to a magistrate that such a request has been
made and require the magistrate to deal with the case in accordance with
the provisions of this Act, but shall not make such an order if he decides on
the basis of information then available to him that the surrender of the
fugitive is precluded by any of the provisions of subsection (1) to (7) of
section 3 of this Act.”
3) DOES THE ALLEGATION LEVELLED AGAINST ABBAH KYARI BY
THE US GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH HUSHPUPPI (ABBAS
RAMON) WARRANT HIM TO BE EXTRADITED?
It could be recalled that Abbah Kyari was indicted by the FBI in connection
with the alleged fraud committed against the US Government by a
Nigerian, popularly known as Husspuppi, whose real name is Abbas
Ramon. Following Abbah Kyari’s Indictment, a panel was set up by the
Inspector-General of Police; Usman Baba to carry out an investigation to
probe the allegations levelled against the ex-super cop.
Since then, there have been several arguments in connection with the
allegations levelled against him by the FBI. The arguments border on
whether the offences levelled against Abbah Kyari are extraditable offences
In resolving the said arguments, Article 3 of the Extradition Treaty of 1935
which Nigeria signed with the US and UK, outlines a number of offences for
which accused persons or convicts can be extradited in compliance with
A careful study of Article 3 shows that the ground for issuing an extradition
the order against Abbah Kyari falls within provisos 17 and 18 of Article 3, which
“Extradition shall be reciprocally granted for the following crimes or
“17. Fraud by a bailee, banker, agent, factor, trustee, director, member, or
public officer of any company, or fraudulent conversion.
“18. Obtaining money, valuable security, or goods, by false pretences;
receiving any money, valuable security, or other property, knowing the
same to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.”
Note that in addition to the spelt out offences, the treaty also provides that
extradition shall be granted for any of the listed offences, provided that the
criminal activity is punishable by the laws of both the country seeking the
extradition and the country that is asked to extradite the accused person.
Under Nigerian Law, it is a criminal offence to bribe a public official and for
a public official to collect a bribe as well.
Speaking in an interview conducted by the Cable, the Attorney-General of
the Federation in the person of Abubakar Malami, on February 6, when asked
about the extradition update, said the federal government was working with
the US on the “possible extradition” of Kyari. He further stated that the
police panel has established “reasonable grounds for suspicion” which
could lead to Kyari’s extradition.
4) WITH THE RECENT INDICTMENT OF ABBAH KYARI BY THE
NDLEA, WOULD IT BE LAWFUL TO HALT THE EXTRADITION ORDER
AGAINST ABBAH KYARI?
Ordinarily, it would have been said that the 1 st indictment on Abbah Kyari by
the FBI takes precedence over that of the NDLEA, since it happened
earlier, however, the provisions of section 3 (f) of the Extradition Act may
forestall his surrender to the US government for a trial of the allegations
levelled against him by the FBI.
Section 3 (f) of the Act provides:
“A fugitive criminal- (a) who has been charged with an offence under the
law of Nigeria or any part thereof, not being the offence for which his
surrender is sought; or “(b) who is serving a sentence imposed in respect of any such offence by
the court in Nigeria, shall not be surrendered until such a time as he has been
discharged whether by acquittal or on the expiration of his sentence, or
Taking into cognizance the above provision of the law, if the suspended
DCP is arraigned by the NDLEA for drug-related offences, which is a
breach of Nigerian law, his extradition to the US would likely be halted until his trial for the offence for which he is being indicted, by the Nigerian
government is completed.