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Nigeria, U.S. set to review extradition treaty, says Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari...

President Muhammadu Buhari…

INDICATIONS have emerged the Nigeria and the United States of America might renegotiate the extradition treaty between the two countries in line with the present administration’s renewed commitment to zero tolerance for corruption.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who revealed this in a statement yesterday said this came from a meeting between visiting President Muhammadu Buhari and the United States Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, where the US government reportedly indicated its desire to help Nigeria recover all the looted funds.

According to Shehu, already Nigeria and United States have an existing extradition treaty, especially by virtue of being a former British colonial territory, but added that in the light of the current reality, there was the need to renegotiate the treaty “to meet our other requirements.”

He stressed that the negotiation will be done under the auspices of a ‘re-energized’ US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission, adding, “In line with expectations, the United States government has agreed to assist Nigeria recover all identified ill-gotten wealth in countries in which they have jurisdiction, including the U.S itself.

The United States will also offer training to judicial staff and prosecutors “in order to place Nigeria in a good position to uncover proceeds of corruption and for improved prosecution of cases of crime.”

He also stressed that the meeting touched on the subject of support for the war on corruption in Nigeria, noting that the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between the two countries in 1985, which came into effect in 2003 will be given some teeth.

“There will be collaboration. Each of the two countries will receive legal assistance from the other on criminal matters and that should cover the recovery of ill-gotten wealth. On extradition, we already have a treaty with U.S.”

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