Nigeria, Italy sign extradition pacts

Ugo Okoro, Abuja

The Nigerian Government has signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) bordering on mutual assistance in criminal matters, transfer of sentenced persons and an extradition treaty with Italy.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, signed the pact in Rome, the Italian capital, on behalf of the Federal Government while the Italian Minister of Justice, Mr. Andrea Orlando signed on behalf of his home country.

He explained that the signing of the agreement was part of the outcome of the minister’s official visit to Italy last week.

The pact is “to improve the effectiveness of both countries in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime, including crimes related to terrorism and tracing.”

Other areas include “restraint, forfeiture or confiscation of assets for financing of terrorism and also the proceeds and instruments of crime, through cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters”.

On the Extradition Treaty, each of the participating nations, upon a request is expected to “extradite to the other, any person who is in his territory and is wanted by the Requesting State for the purpose of carrying out criminal proceedings or executing a final custodial sentence or any other measure restrictive of personal liberty issued against such person.”

The two countries also reached another agreement, to promote effective cooperation on the transfer of sentenced persons for the purpose of facilitating their rehabilitation and social reintegration.

The Attorney-General had on August 4th, hosted a meeting of an Italian delegation led by the  Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Paolo Gentlioni Silveri in Abuja, as part of preparatory steps towards enhancing cooperation on justice reforms between the two nations.