Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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Hushpuppi: 31 Northern Lawyers to defend Abba Kyari

At least 31 young lawyers from Northern Nigeria have offered legal services in defence of embattled former Commander of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari.

Kyari was indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over his role in a $1.1m fraud allegedly committed by money laundering suspect, Abass Ramon, aka Hushpuppi and four others.

He was subsequently suspended before his appearance at the Special Investigation Panel, headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike.

But in a statement released on Wednesday by the Spokesperson of the group, Sunusi Bappah Salisu, said the volunteer lawyers drawn across all the 19 Northern states would be offering their services pro bono.

The move was in apparent response to recent calls for support for Kyari by the Coalition of Northern Groups which called for the preservation of his fundamental rights that may be potentially jeopardized by his alleged indictment by a court in the United States.

Salisu said they would critically review the procedures adopted by the FBI in getting the Court to indict Kyari on allegations of involvement in charges filed against a suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi.

He said, “We would raise questions involving the possibility of the occasioning 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.

“This comprises The right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts of violating his fundamental rights as recognized and guaranteed by conventions, laws, regulations and customs in force; the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent court or tribunal; the right to defence, including the right to be defended by counsel of his choice; the right to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal.”

The lawyer said they would weigh the procedures against the intendment of Section 36 (1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which specifically stated that, in the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by, or against any government, or authority, a person shall be entitled to fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court, or other tribunals.

“Subsections 9 and 10 of this section also stipulates that everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law and everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

“And the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights also 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”, he explained.

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