On one hand, Nigeria is a sovereign State which does not report or answer to the US. She has all the powers, structures & processes to deal with crimes committed within her borders & those outside of her borders that are brought to her attention.
Some have argued that she is also a Signatory to International Treaties, as such, under obligations to deliver Kyari to the US to answer for crimes alleged by the US.
However, what i do not know is the existence of any Treaty or Bilateral instrument that requires a country to deliver her agents to another country for crimes allegedly committed within that country in the course of the discharge of that agents duties.
Eg, Kyari allegedly committed the crimes in Nigeria, he can’t be delivered to the US for crimes committed in Nigeria.
It is not the practice in Diplomacy.
Even though US troops were severally accused of crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria & elsewhere, they were never handed over to those countries but treated by US authorities, this is notwithstanding the fact that the troops are within the borders of those countries.
The options open to the US is to report him to Nigeria & request that Nigerian rules be allowed to run on him based on the evidence that would be availed her.
Another is to report the issue to tje necessary Multilateral Organisations with mandate on such allegations, requesting them to do the needful.
Under no circumstances should Nigeria deliver Kyari to the US.
Would US deliver her agents to other countries for crimes allegedly committed within the US?
Imagine the psychological & National Security implication Nigeria delivering him to the US would have on the generality of the Nigerian Security System.
However, i understand the fears of those arguing in favor of delivering him to the US, which is, chiefly that the US may withdraw her support in terms of Arms sales to Nigeria.
Yes. This is certainly a valid fear.
But then, we must understand that delivering our troops & agents to be tried Overseas would do unimaginable damages to the morale,psyche & loyalty of our troops to their country, after all, US has not being a good strategic partner of Nigeria as long as the war on Terror is concerned.
In all, while we support that the rules be applied, we must have in mind that our own rule, not that of the US is the rule in consideration here, just as Nigeria’s National Interests come top above other considerations.
~Ikenda Elechi is a Scholar on International Affairs