United States and Nigeria are set to work out new extradition treaty to facilitate the trial of persons involved in stolen funds and other crimes.
The United States government has agreed to help President Muhammadu Buhari to trace and recover funds looted from the country and lodged in foreign banks.
The decisions were taken by President Buhari and his host, Barack Obama in Washington DC.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja yesterday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said that the US would also assist in the training of judicial officers and prosecutors “in order to place Nigeria in a good position to uncover proceeds of corruption and for improved prosecution of cases of crime.”
Shehu said the decisions were part of the agreement reached during Buhari’s meeting with the American Attorney-General, Loretta Lynch, in Washington DC.
He said: “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 US itself.”
According to Shehu, the meeting concentrated on support for Nigeria’s war against corruption.
Shehu further said that signals from the meeting showed that the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between the two countries in 1985 which came into effect in 2003 would reviewed.
He said: “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 the US, by virtue of being a former British colonial territory.
“There is however the possibility that Nigeria might negotiate a new extradition treaty to meet our other requirements. The negotiation will be done under the auspices of a ‘reenergised’ US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission,” Shehu added.