A group of 31 lawyers from northern Nigeria have offered to provide free legal services to Abba Kyari, the former commander of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, who has been indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States of America over alleged corruption.
This was disclosed in a statement by Sunusi Bappah Salisu, the spokesperson of the group, on Wednesday.
Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, is facing allegations of corruption levelled against him by the FBI for his purported association with indicted fraudster Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
According to Salisu, the lawyers have decided to render their services to Kyari pro bono following calls made by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG).
He disclosed that would critically review the procedures adopted by the FBI to get the US Court to indict Kyari on allegations of involvement in charges filed against Hushpuppi.
The spokesperson added that the lawyers would argue for the preservation of Kyari’s fundamental rights against his alleged indictment.
The statement read: “We would raise questions involving the possibility of breaches to Kyari’s fundamental rights entrenched in Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right which essentially state that every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person and every individual shall have the right to have his cause heard.
“Also, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”
A court in the United States of America has issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari over alleged links in facilitating the operations of Hushpuppi, who is currently facing trial in the US over internet fraud.
Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track down Kyari and produce him in the United States to explain his role in the case.
Hushpuppi told US officials that he reportedly paid off Kyari to arrest Chibuzo, with whom he had a dispute following a fraudulent business deal with a Qatari businessman.
According to him, it was the fraudster who raised a false alarm in a distress message sent to his office to have his associate (Vincent) arrested because of a threat to life.
Kyari has been suspended by the Police Service Commission as Head of the Intelligence Response Team based on the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba. A panel has also been established to probe the matter.