|Wikileaks:||View 01ABUJA2118 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||SNAR KCRM CJAN EFIN 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.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002118 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/22/2011 TAGS: SNAR, KCRM, CJAN, EFIN, NI SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NSA MOHAMMED ON COUNTER-NARCOTICS CERTIFICATION 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 REQUEST. Jeter
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