By Dipo Olowookere
Nigeria has signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) bordering on mutual assistance in criminal matters, transfer of sentenced persons and an extradition treaty with the Government of the Republic of Italy.
This was made known through a press statement issued by Mr Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday November 16, 2016 in Abuja.
It was disclosed in the statement that Mr 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.
The signing of the agreement was part of the outcome of the AGF’s official visit to Italy recently, going by the treaty document.
According to Mr Malami’s spokesman, the pact was a demonstration of the determination “to improve the effectiveness of both countries in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime, including crimes related to terrorism and tracing.”
He stressed that 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”
It added that, 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.
To recall, the AGF had on August 4, 2016 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.
Mr Malami who is also the President of the 4th Assembly of State Parties of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) presided over the Assembly of State Parties (AoP) at the Vienna International Conference Center, Vienna, Austria from November 10-11, 2016.
The AGF’s media aide said that, while declaring the 5th Assembly of State Parties open, the Minister reiterated the determination of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to fight corruption in all its ramifications. He also pleaded for more support of all member states in coming out with creative and workable ideas in that direction.
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