By Jennifer Ugwueke
Police Affairs Minister, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, said Tuesday night that the final decision on request for extradition of suspended head of the Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, would be taken only by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also said the police authorities were waiting for the final decision on former acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to know what to do with him.
It would be recalled that Kyari was suspended from office to answer allegations of complicity in the $1.1million bribe fraud perpetrated by Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, who was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and extradited to the US for trial.
Speaking on Channels Television Programme ‘ Politics Today’, Dingyadi said the federal government was trying to ensure that due diligence was done on the matter because it had international connotations.
He said: “The issue of Abba Kyari is in public domain and I think by now, everybody has heard that the police in their very wisdom, in their usual way of becoming transparent and fair to all, have set up a committee to investigate all these allegations.
“We have also reported that the committee has submitted its report to the Inspector General of Police. We have also submitted this report and recommendations to the Attorney-General of the Federation for a legal opinion. Thereafter, we will take it to Mr President for final consideration.
“So, you can see that though this matter is a local matter here, it has some international connotations. We have to do some due diligence to ensure that we do the right thing. We have to do some consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice before a final decision will be taken.
“What is important is that Nigerians should know that the police management is up and doing and it has done what it is supposed to do. I hope people will wait and see what actions will be taken on this matter.”
The FBI had indicted DCP Kyari along with four others in the Hushpuppi internet fraud scam.
This led to his suspension and the IGP setting up a Special Investigations Panel, headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike of FCIIB to probe the allegations
The panel had since submitted it’s report to the Police Service Commission, while the commission has commenced it’s own internal investigative processes on the issue.
On Magu, the minister said the police authorities were waiting for the final decision on former acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to know what to do with him.
He also disclosed that the former EFCC boss is still on the payroll of the federal government as a police officer.
It would be recalled that Magu was suspended from office and investigated by a panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, following allegations of fraud levelled against him.
The minister, who spoke in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday, said since the report of the panel was submitted to the President, no further communication had been sent to the ministry and the police force.
He said that, despite the suspension of Magu as acting EFCC chairman, he is still a police officer under the payroll of the federal government.
“The matter, like you said, is investigated. The man is still in the service; he is still in the force headquarters, and I don’t want to expatiate at this material time as to what is happening to the report of the committee.
“What I know is that the matter has been submitted to Mr President and as far as I know, no communication has yet been submitted to the ministry or police force on this matter. So we are waiting for the final outcome to be made public.
“Of course, he is still a police officer even though he is under suspension. So what you know is that he used to be the chairman of the EFCC, but he is no longer one.
“But that does not mean he is not within the payroll of the FG. He is still a civil servant, he is still a police officer so until the final decision is taken on the matter. I don’t think I should say more than what I have said on this matter,” he said.
Magu was the acting chairman of the EFCC between 2015 and 2020, but was arrested on July 7, 2020, detained and suspended as the head of the anti-graft agency.
His ordeal started when the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, petitioned the President, levelling allegations of corruption and insubordination against him.
A panel led by a retired judge, Ayo Salami, was subsequently set up to probe the allegations levelled against Magu. A report on the investigation was submitted in November 2020.