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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday struck out a suit instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria, seeking to extradite a Nigerian citizen, Andrew Chidiebere Ibe, to the United States of America for trial in wired fraud charges.
The case filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN), on behalf of the Federal Government was struck out for a want of diligent prosecution.
Justice Inyang Ekwo threw out the case following the repeated absence of the AGF or any legal practitioner from his office or private chamber to appear in court to prosecute the Extradition Suit.
Malami in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/456/2022 requested the Federal High Court for an order permitting the surrendering of the Nigerian businessman to America following his indictment for wired fraud.
Malami claimed that the suspect was to be put on trial by the American Government over the alleged fraud and that extradition request to that effect had been served on the Nigerian Government under Extradition Act 2004.
The AGF also stated that the charges against the suspect carry 20 years imprisonment upon conviction in the 11 charges.
However, since the filing of the Extradition Suit, the AGF office has not shown any serious commitment to prosecution of the suit.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, neither the AGF nor any legal practitioner showed to move an ex-parte application filed alongside the suit seeking immediate arrest and detention of the suspect pending the grant of the extradition against him.
Justice Ekwo who was not pleased with the continued absence of the AGF or any lawyer to represent him struck out the suit.
The US government, through its Embassy in Nigeria, had brought the Extradition request following the indictment of the businessman by the USA Federal Bureau of Investigations.
The request signed by Susanne Elmilady was predicated on Extractable Offences Under Article 3 (18) of the Extradition Treaty between the United States of America and Nigeria.