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Northern groups write US Embassy, Demand fairness for embattled Nigerian Police chief, Abba Kyari

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has written to the United States Embassy in Nigeria, demanding fairness for Nigeria’s disgraced police chief, Abba Kyari, who was indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Kyari is being accused of having collected bribes from suspected billionaire fraudster, Abbas Ramon, also known as Hushpuppi.

A four-man panel, headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Joseph Egbunike, has launched an investigation into the allegations levelled against the cop.

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However, 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, Daily Trust reports. 

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.

It 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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