US embassy cable - 01ABUJA1000

Lunch Conference on Drugs and Financial Crimes

Identifier: 01ABUJA1000
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA1000 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-05-04 19:02:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: SNAR CJAN PREL NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001000 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR INL/AP-JSULLIVAN 
 
 
DEAHQS FOR OFE-LORINO 
 
 
E.O. 12598: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR, CJAN, PREL, NI 
SUBJECT: Lunch Conference on Drugs and Financial Crimes 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. 
 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The President's Special Advisor on 
Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Dr. Ibrahim Lame hosted a 
three hour lunch and meeting on drugs and related crimes on 
April 19.  Media questioned Dr. Lame, Attorney General Bola 
Ige and NDLEA Chairman Lafiaji, among others, on current 
crime and drug-related issues.  A frank discussion with 
media present, was led by the AG.  All agreed the forum 
should continue, and the AG called on Lame and the NDLEA to 
organize a separate meeting to develop a blueprint for 
Nigeria's cooperation on fighting drugs and related money- 
laundering.  Tony Esu, Chairman of the House Committee on 
Narcotics and Financial Crimes, confirmed the report that 
10 members of his Committee were touring Washington and 
Baltimore on National Assembly funds.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
2. (SBU)  RNLEO and Lagos DEA Representative attended a 
lunch meeting hosted by the President's Special Advisor on 
Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Dr. Ibrahim Lame.  Other 
notable attendees included the Attorney General Bola Ige 
and NDLEA Chairman Lafiaji.  Media was present throughout 
the event, and the discussions were remarkably frank. 
 
 
3. (SBU) EXTRADITION AND RENDITION:  Several of the media's 
questions focused on the questions of extradition to the 
U.S. of Nigerian citizens.  In a response to a general 
question on whether extraditions to the U.S. are "right or 
ethical," the AG responded that "no extradition has taken 
place without due process of law."  Another reporter made 
the allegation that the turning over to United States 
custody of four Nigerians last November was extra-legal. 
Ige responded by noting that "this was not an extradition" 
and stating that " there are ways to move people from one 
country to another" without using the formal extradition 
process.  The Minister of State for Justice made the 
follow-on point that extradition or rendition was not an 
act of determining guilt of a suspect for a crime.  He 
cited the recent trial of two Libyans on charges relating 
to the bombing of Pan Am 103 as an example of how two 
suspects were extradited to another country, given a fair 
trial, and one was acquitted and free to return home.  The 
AG had the final word by asking the media rhetorically: 
"Should Nigeria become a haven for those who commit serious 
crimes?" 
 
 
4. (SBU)  EXPANDING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION:  During the 
45-minute discussion chaired by the AG, RNLEO, DEA Country 
Attache, the UNDCP Regional Representative, and the UK Drug 
Liaison Officer joined about 20 Nigerian officials (from 
Lame's office, NDLEA, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 
the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the 
Police) in a frank exchange of views on what could be done 
to improve Nigeria's efforts to address drug trafficking 
and financial crimes.  DEA Attache suggested that the GON, 
through the NDLEA, create a mechanism for expanded regional 
anti-drug, anti-crime cooperation, particularly with regard 
to the sharing of timely intelligence on trafficking 
activities.  All agreed that the discussion should 
continue.  RNLEO suggested that a future meeting could be 
dedicated to money laundering issues, which everyone 
appeared to accept.  The AG called on Lame and the NDLEA to 
organize a separate group, including the CBN, NDIC, Police 
and NDLEA to meet with the U.S. Embassy, British High 
Commission and UNDCP to develop a blueprint for Nigeria's 
cooperation with the international community on fighting 
drugs and related money laundering. 
 
 
5. (SBU) NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TRAVEL: On the margins of the 
discussion, RNLEO managed to speak with Tony Esu, Chairman 
of the House Committee on Narcotics and Financial Crimes 
about an email report from INL that 10 members of the 
Committee were touring Washington and Baltimore on National 
Assembly funds.  Esu confirmed the report, and claimed the 
group is looking into demand reduction programs, and will 
meet with ONDCP on Monday.  RNLEO had heard from INL that 
all, including the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, were 
caught unaware of the travel. (Note:  Esu called RNLEO on 
April 27 for assistance with visas for five of his 
committee members making two return visits to the U.S. for 
conferences on Financial Crimes -- one in Los Angeles -- 
within the next three weeks.  end note) 
 
 
6. (SBU) Comment: This initiative by the AG, NDLEA Chairman 
and President's Special Advisor represents a good sign and 
an uncommon, transparent and important approach to counter- 
narcotics and financial crimes that we have not seen here 
before. 
JETER 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04