Federal government files 311 extradition requests in 2 years

The Federal Government has filed 311 requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance in the two years of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

This figure was contained in a book, ‘Making Steady, Sustainable Progress for Nigeria’s Peace and Prosperity’, which was presented to the public on Thursday.

The 360-page book is a mid-term scorecard of the present administration authored by the Presidential Media Team. It listed the achievements of all the ministries in the two years of the present administration.

It also highlighted the achievements of some key government agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent and Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Customs Service and the Niger Delta Development Commission among others.

The figure of the extraditions and mutual legal assistance was contained in the section allotted to the Ministry of Justice.

The book however did not give details of the offences committed by the Nigerians that necessitated the extradition requests.

It also did not mention the names of those who were listed in the requests or the countries from where their extraditions are being sought.

There are however many former government officials who are being investigated of corruption currently residing outside the country.

The statistics further showed that the ministry received 636 “incoming requests” of extraditions and mutual legal assistance.

Those are foreign nationals whose countries of origin are requesting their extradition from Nigeria back home.

According to the document, only 503 out of the 636 incoming requests were forwarded to competent authorities for execution.

It said 390 of the requests had been completed, meaning that the affected persons may be on their way back to their respective countries or could have been repatriated already.

The book did not also disclose the offences committed by the affected persons in their countries or the names of the wanted persons.

It also did not state the countries from where the extradition requests were received.

According to the book, the EFCC recorded about 200 convictions in 2016 with assets running into billions of naira recovered.

It stated that in the first quarter of 2017, the commission recorded 62 convictions.

It said more significant was that among the convicts were a number of high-profile personalities, including a former governor, oil barons and top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Bala Ngilari, former governor of Adamawa State, was jailed five years on March 6 by Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa State High Court for procurement fraud.

“The conviction was significant not only on the score that the trial was completed in seven months but it was also the first conviction of a former governor to be recorded in nearly six years,” the book read.

According to the book, the EFCC is closely working with the US Department of Justice, the FBI, UK National Crime Agency, UK Serious Fraud Office and the Netherlands Police.

The relationships, it stated, were geared towards seamless investigations of transnational economic and financial crimes as well as tracing and recovery of looted funds and assets.

“The commission has been actively involved in the tracing and recovery of stolen assets both within and outside Nigeria.

“It has also been instrumental in securing the cooperation of countries such as the UAE in supporting the anti-money laundering efforts of the Nigerian government,” the book added.

The book was jointly edited by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; and the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

At the public presentation of the book on Thursday, Buhari said he had resolved to pay back the goodwill Nigerians extended towards him during his recent health ordeal by protecting their interests with all the energy at his disposal.

He restated his administration’s commitment to improving security, fighting corruption and restructuring the economy.

The President stated that within the limited resources available to him, his administration would continue to give priority to security by addressing herdsmen/farmers clashes, kidnapping and armed robberies.

Buhari added that his government was working quietly to secure the release of the remaining girls, who were kidnapped in their school in Chibok, Borno State, in 2014.

He had said, “We have gone through difficult times due to worldwide economic recession. We are coming out of recession and government efforts are targeted at easing economic hardships, with more jobs, social security platforms for vulnerable families, and unemployed and infrastructural progress.

“On the current issues on herdsmen/farmers clashes, kidnapping and armed robberies within the confines of our limited resources, we are giving top priority to security.”

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )



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