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Nigeria, Italy sign criminals' extradition pact

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government 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.

Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the  Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami,   said this in a press statement issued  on Wednesday, in Abuja.

Isah  said in the release that the minister 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  said that the signing of the agreement was part of the outcome of the AGF's official visit to Italy last week, going by the treaty document.

According to 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.

It will be  recalled  that  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.

Malami, who is also the president of the 4th Assembly of State Parties of the International Anticorruption Academy (IACA), presided over the Assembly of State Parties (AoP), at the Vienna International Conference Centre, Vienna, Austria between November 10 and 11 .

The AGF's media aide  added  that while declaring the 5th Assembly of State Parties opened, the minister reiterated the determination of  President Muhammadu Buhari -led 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.