Nigeria moves to extradite cop indicted in Hushpuppi cyberfraud case to U.S.

The Nigerian government Wednesday moved forward on the United States' request for the extradition of Abba Kyari, the now suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police who faces charges as an alleged conspirator of social media influencer Ramon Abbas popularly known as Hushpuppi.

Hushpuppi was known for posting about his lavish life online before pleading guilty last year to charges related to an elaborate, online international scheme to defraud and launder money from a businessperson trying to build a school in Qatar. 

Kyari was a celebrated member of the Nigerian Police Force before a U.S. indictment related to that plea was unsealed last July, alleging his involvement. Kyari was suspended from the police and a special investigations panel was created to probe Kyari's involvement with Hushpuppi and establish grounds for extradition, according to local reporting. 

Kyari is currently in detention of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency after being arrested for his alleged role in cocaine trafficking. The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the extradition approval. 

On Wednesday, Nigeria's Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami filed an application before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja for Kyari's extradition to the US, as reported by The Nation

Malami disclosed on Channels TV Politics Today last month that “reasonable ground for suspicion” had been established by both the FBI and an independent investigation panel.

On February 11, a new panel was established to investigate Kyari's involvement along with roles of other police officers.

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Olatunji Olaigbe

is a freelance journalist based in Nigeria. His work has been published by VICE, Al-Jazeera, and The Record. His reporting often examines the underlying factors of societal issues and he was a winner of the International Organisation for Migration’s 2021 West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Awards.