Federal Government Vows to Extradite Indicted Nigerians to US for prosecution
- Government would consider extraditing indicted suspects to the U.S. if lawfully required. – Garba Shehu
- The government would not stand in the way of the justice system.
- There are millions of our citizens who are out there earning legitimately their own incomes. No, they don’t deserve to be so tarnished.” – Garba Shehu
The government of Nigeria says it will align fully with the United States government to bring to justice almost 80 Nigerians recently indicted for massive fraud and money laundering.
The suspects were indicted in a 252-count federal grand jury indictment which was unsealed on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
Nick Hanna, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, Said, “We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history.”
Out of 80 Nigerians in the FBI fraud list, only 17 suspects are in the custody of the U.S. government.
The Assistant Director in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Paul Delacourt, disclosed that the agency is working with security agencies in nine countries to apprehend 57 defendants.
Speaking on an interview with Channels TV, Garba Shehu, a Spokeperson to Pres. Buhari, said the government would consider extraditing indicted suspects to the U.S. if required.
“If the Nigerian government is required to cooperate in any way, including extradition, if it meets the requirement of our laws, they will be assisted to prosecute them and face justice,” he said.
He reiterated that the 76-year-old president will not fight for Nigerians who violate the laws of the countries where they reside.
“This administration will work with all nations around the globe to fight criminality. If it is Nigerians that are involved in this thing, well, hard luck to them.
“But the government would not stand in the way of the justice system. Every citizen of this country who travels out of the country are required to obey the laws of their host countries,” Garba said.
Shehu described the indictments as “doubly damaging” for every Nigerian and a taint on the country. He also said the laws will aim to block some loopholes used by Nigerians to “embarrass and blacklist the country”.
Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairperson of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), the commission, is also involved in talks with the U.S. government concerning the rights of fellow Nigerians in the country. He also called on indicted suspects to turn themselves in to authorities.
We ask those accused in Nigeria to voluntarily turn themselves in to American authorities to clear their names, without which the Nigerian government would extradite them if relevant international treaties between the two governments are invoked,” she said.