US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2118


Identifier: 01ABUJA2118
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2118 at
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-08-28 13:13:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002118 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/22/2011 
REF: A. STATE 122773 
     B. ABUJA 2074 
     C. ABUJA 1547 
     D. STATE 118125 
     E. ABUJA 2113 
     F. ABUJA 2115 
     G. ABUJA 2116 
(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b) 
and (d). 
1. (U) This is an action message.  Please see para 7. 
2. (C) Ambassador Jeter, accompanied by PolMilOff, called on 
NSA Aliyu Mohammed on August 22.  LTC Idris, the NSA's 
Military Advisor also attended.  This message summarizes 
their discussion on Nigeria's counter-narcotics performance 
and USG benchmarks. 
3. (C) Ambassador Jeter emphasized that there existed a 
perception that Nigeria was off-track on meeting 
counter-narcotics benchmarks, and passed the NSA the 
non-paper relayed in Ref A.  The Ambassador explained that 
the certification process was an annual event, and that 
Nigeria would have to do more to meet the requirements for 
certification next year.  Drugs had been discovered on the 
Nigeria Airways/South Africa Airways flight to New York, the 
NDLEA-DEA joint taskforce was moribund, and while the 
President had agreed to double the NDLEA budget, the Embassy 
had seen no evidence that NDLEA had received more money or 
had additional resources.  Moreover, Nigeria had not even 
bothered to answer the FATF survey, and had therefore joined 
an ignominious group of "non-cooperating" countries. 
4. (C) The NSA said he understood, and that the GON would 
take the benchmarks very seriously.  He said he would meet 
with Alhaji Bello Lafiaji, the NDLEA Chairman, to discuss the 
way forward.  He also noted that the NDLEA had been given 
access to Nigeria's ports two weeks ago, which should help 
close another route for traffickers.  Finally, the NSA asked 
if Nigeria's submission of the FATF questionnaire could 
reverse the damage that had been done.  He said that he would 
make sure the survey was completed and submitted if this 
would have any impact. 
5. (C) The NSA then asked about the case of the funds 
allegedly looted by Abacha.  He noted that the forensic 
analysis was expected back in Abuja within the next few days. 
 The NSA asked if he should send the analysis to Ambassador 
Jeter or a letter from President Obasanjo to President Bush. 
Ambassador Jeter suggested that the NSA keep working in the 
channel President Obasanjo had used, and the Embassy would 
make sure the forensic documents were sent to Washington. 
The Ambassador emphasized that the Embassy wants to work with 
the GON on this issue, and he encouraged greater interaction 
between the GON expert on this issue and the Embassy's Legatt. 
6. (C) COMMENT: The seriousness with which the NSA took the 
Ambassador's warning on certification was welcome; however, 
it has been consistently difficult to get the GON to engage 
more than rhetorically on these issues, particularly serious 
engagement with the Attorney General.  While the NDLEA has 
made serious efforts to combat trafficking, resources are 
limited, and other agencies such as the Ministry of Justice, 
have thus far taken little action.  Embassy will continue to 
engage the GON at every opportunity to encourage progress on 
the benchmarks.  END COMMENT. 
7. (C) ACTION REQUEST: The NSA asked if completion of the 
questionnaire, even at this late date, would have any impact 
on Nigeria's standing.  Embassy requests information to 
respond to this question, and if the answer is yes, to whom 
should the GON forward the FATF responses.  END ACTION 

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