By John Ikani
The United States is not backing down in its bid to prosecute a top Nigerian Police officer, Abba Kyari and five others indicted in the $1.1million fraud committed by Hushpuppi.
Mr Kyari, a former Deputy Commissioner of police, allegedly played a role in the $1.1million scam by helping Hushpuppi to detain a disenchanted co-conspirator who wanted to warn the victim businessperson about the scam.
Premium Times report that a total of 2,700 electronic files and 6,700-page documents have been assembled by the US prosecutors.
The newspaper cited a court document which it said also shows other sets of investigative reports and “new discoveries” including documents obtained from foreign law enforcement agencies with over 6,700 pages that are being processed by prosecutors.
While Hushpuppi has pleaded guilty, three of the defendants have been arrested while three, including Kyari remain “at large.”
Defence lawyers of the arrested defendants Rukayat Fashola (aka Morayo), Bolatito Agbabiaka (aka Bolamide), and Yusuf Anifowoshe (aka AJ and Alvin Johnson) filed an application on Friday at the US District Court of Central California on September 24 for additional time to prepare for the case, while the US prosecutors also asked for more time to process troves of documents, including those obtained from foreign countries.
According to the application, the US government has already handed to the defence approximately 2.31GB of data consisting of 2,707 electronic files.
The files contain, among others, exported chat logs, Cellebrite reports, WhatsApp messages, audio recordings, and other social media content, it stated.
It added that prosecutors were processing approximately 6,773 pages of additional discovery expected to be produced in two weeks’ time.
However, the remaining three defendants believed to be outside the US, Kyari, Abdulrahman Juma, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, “remain at large”, according to the US prosecutors.
The application stated that parties had estimated that six days would be required to conclude the three defendants’ trial.
Indicating that the trial of the available defendants may be separated from those of Mr Kyari and others still at large, the application states, “all defendants are joined for trial and a severance has not been granted.”
With no objection to the application from any of the parties, the judge, Otis Wright, is expected to grant the request to fix 17 May, 2022 for commencement of trial any time soon.