US embassy cable - 02ABUJA596


Identifier: 02ABUJA596
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA596 at
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-02-26 08:13:00
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.

E.O. 12958:  N/A 
REF:  A) STATE 189082    B)  01 LAGOS 1042 
1.(SBU) Introduction:  The USG's law enforcement program in 
Nigeria is dynamic and diverse, covering eight major areas: 
counter-narcotics; fighting financial fraud, particularly 
"419" advance-free fraud; immigration crimes; police 
modernization; anti-corruption; extradition, trafficking in 
persons, and money laundering.  Reflecting these priorities 
outlined in the Mission's Performance Plan (MPP) are the 
resources found in the presence at the Mission of DEA, FBI, 
USSS, DSS, DSS Anti-Fraud Unit, INL and, soon to be added, 
DOJ's ICITAP.  The INL program which began in earnest in 
February 2001 with the opening of the Regional Narcotics 
and Law Enforcement Office (RNLEO), provides funding for 
training and assistance projects to the Nigerian Government 
in collaboration with these USG law enforcement agencies. 
Per Ref A's guidance, law enforcement projects proposed tie 
together training, technical assistance and the provision 
of some equipment and material. 
2.(U) Regional Note:  Most of the USG law enforcement 
agencies' offices resident in the Mission have regional 
coverage, of varying scope and size.  While this LE 
assistance plan is for Nigeria, consideration for regional 
needs is addressed as much as possible, especially in the 
area of training, to foster greater cooperation within the 
West African sub-region.  Efforts will be made in 
particular to engage ECOWAS on a number of law enforcement 
and security issues such as Trafficking in Persons, 
Counter-Narcotics, and addressing the proliferation of 
small arms. 
The Framework:  Bilateral Law Enforcement Committee 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
3.(U) Advancement of USG law enforcement goals in Nigeria 
is accomplished through the U.S.-Nigeria Law Enforcement 
Committee, which met for the first time on November 9, 2001 
in Washington D.C..  The eight priority law enforcement 
areas identified in paragraph one are built into the agenda 
of this forum.  In a Joint Declaration signed at the 
conclusion of the Committee's first meeting, the GON agreed 
to take the following five steps by May 2002 (the next 
meeting of the Committee): 
-- introduce and seek to pass legislation to revise the 
1995 Money Laundering Act and create a financial 
intelligence unit to improve the fight against money 
laundering in line with FATF criteria; 
-- commence an investigation of at least one major Nigeria- 
based drug trafficker with the DEA; 
-- introduce and seek to pass legislation allowing for the 
civil forfeiture of assets derived from proceeds of 
organized crime and drug trafficking; 
-- commence extradition proceedings of individuals wanted 
for prosecution by the U.S. Government; and 
-- give the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related 
Offenses Commission (ICPC) all necessary resources to 
launch criminal cases against high-level officials accused 
of corruption. 
4.(U) In return, the USG pledged to provide expanded 
assistance and training to GON law enforcement agencies and 
the Central Bank of Nigeria in the areas of counter- 
narcotics, money laundering, financial fraud, police 
reform, trafficking in persons, immigration crimes, 
corruption and extradition.  This includes: 
-- assistance in the fields of information technology, 
controlled drug deliveries, financial and assets 
investigations, and criminal records management; 
--collaboration with the NDLEA in the upgrading of the 
NDLEA's training academy; 
--activities to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement 
agencies; and 
-- efforts to increase international law enforcement 
The Nigerian Players 
5.(U) Caveat: Lagos vs. Abuja.  The bulk of operational law 
enforcement units addressing organized crime remains in 
Lagos, West Africa's largest urban center and the hub of 
organized crime for the country.   That said, a number of 
senior law enforcement managers, formerly resident in 
Lagos, have made the transition to Abuja, though some 
maintain offices in Lagos and commute between the two 
6.(SBU) The Attorney General's Office/Ministry of Justice. 
The late Attorney General, Bola Ige, was the Mission's 
primary counterpart for law enforcement policy issues and 
we expect the new AG to follow in this role.  All proposed 
criminal laws are drafted by the AG's office (e.g. the new 
revised Money Laundering Act and new Financial Crimes 
Commission Act) and all extradition requests flow through 
this office.  Federal prosecutions are under the AG's 
control, and the Solicitor General, Mrs. T.A. Osinuga, 
handles this caseload.  The new Attorney General will also 
oversees the NDLEA, as did the late Attorney General. 
7.(SBU) The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). 
Established in 1989, this is the Nigerian Government's sole 
counter-narcotics agency.  Staffed by over 3,500 constables 
and officers, the NDLEA is spread over 28 zones, with a 
particular emphasis on interdicting narcotics at air- and 
sea ports and international land borders.  It remains 
headquartered in Lagos and its Chairman, Bello Lafiaji, 
answers to the Attorney General in Abuja.  The NDLEA is not 
part of the Nigerian Police Force.  This is DEA's sole 
counter-part and its partner in a growing bilateral drug 
enforcement and counter-narcotics assistance relationship. 
8.(SBU) Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).  Widely regarded as 
the most corrupt of Nigeria's law enforcement agencies, the 
NCS has as its official mandate the collection of 
exorbitant duties from imports.  Unlike other nations' 
Customs Services, the NCS does not view drug interdiction 
as part of its mandate.  It is not a significant partner in 
USG law enforcement cooperation and is not a recipient of 
USG assistance. 
9.(SBU) Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).  Responsible 
for all emigration/immigration controls at major 
international entry and exit points, the NIS has been 
engaged by the DS Anti-Fraud Unit at Post in an attempt to 
improve the interdiction of U.S.-bound illegal aliens and 
to confiscate fraudulent USG identity and immigration 
documents.  NIS personnel have the power to detain and 
arrest suspects but cannot arraign or prosecute (the Police 
must be called in for criminal prosecution). 
10.(SBU) Ministry of Justice/Department of Public 
Prosecutions (DPP).  Under the Attorney General and 
Minister of Justice, the DPP is responsible for prosecuting 
cases in the Federal High Court of Nigeria (though the vast 
majority of criminal cases, involving minor offenses, are 
prosecuted by police officers). The main USG interest in 
working with this office is the development of a functional 
extradition process to submit Nigerian fugitives from USG 
justice to U.S. courts for trial.  The DPP has only 20 
prosecutors for this country of 120 million people. 
11.(SBU) Special Assistant to the President for TIP and 
Child Labor.  This position, established in mid-2001, was 
created to coordinate the GON's response to the 
international TIP problem.  The incumbent, Mike Mku, is 
also attempting to coordinate foreign donors' assistance to 
Nigeria for anti-trafficking projects. 
12.(SBU) The National Security Advisor (NSA) to the 
President.  The NSA, retired LTG Aliyu Muhammed, serves as 
the President's right-hand man on security and law 
enforcement matters.  While not usually involved in the 
routine execution of law enforcement policy, he has taken 
the lead on special high-priority issues such as money 
laundering in the post-September 11 era.  He acts on the 
President's authority in ordering or coordinating law 
enforcement actions or changes in policy. 
13.(SBU) The Ministry for Police Affairs (MPA).  This 
Ministry was recreated by President Obasanjo to oversee the 
management of the NPF after being eliminated at the outset 
of the Abacha regime in 1994.  It ostensibly controls the 
NPF's budget and supervises the Inspector General of Police 
(IGP).  The last Minister for Police Affairs, however, did 
not enjoy a cooperative relationship with the IGP, who 
continues to use his direct channel to the President 
liberally.  As it serves largely as a policy shop, the 
MPA's staff is small and is not set up to run programs. 
The Mission interacts regularly with the MPA -- 
particularly with regard to the Police Reform cited below - 
- but there are no projects directly specifically at the 
14.(SBU) The State Security Services (SSS).  This 
intelligence and security agency is responsible for 
safeguarding the country against foreign and domestic 
terrorism and other national security threats.  It has 
sweeping powers and operates throughout the country, 
answering only to the Office of the Presidency, through the 
National Security Advisor.  The Mission occasionally deals 
with SSS on law enforcement matters such as terrorism 
financing and particular criminal investigations. 
The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) 
15.(SBU) The NPF is headed by the Inspector General of 
Police (IGP), Musiliu Smith, who ostensibly reports to the 
Minister for Police Affairs, but in practice has a direct 
line to the President.  Under the IGP's command are seven 
Deputy Inspectors General (DIGs) -- the senior DIG and six 
DIGs who oversee six Departments of the NPF -- 
Administration (Department A); Operations (Department B); 
Logistics (Department C); Criminal Investigations 
Department--CID (Department D); Training (Department E); 
and Research and Planning (Department F). 
16.(SBU) Operations (Department B).  This department is the 
largest in the NPF, managing the basic law-and-order 
deployment of police units on the street and the Mobile 
Police (MOPOL), the NPF's "elite" force to deal with 
violent crime, dignitary protection, and crisis situations. 
The U.S. Mission relies on this Department for the security 
of USG personnel and facilities and protection of visiting 
U.S. dignitaries.  The U.S. business community also relies 
on MOPOL for protection.  MOPOL has its own training 
facility -- separate from that of the main police force -- 
in Goza, near Maiduguri in the northeastern state of Borno. 
Though no assistance is currently planned for MOPOL 
personnel, the Mission hopes to include MOPOL in future 
civil disorder management training. 
17.(SBU) Criminal Investigations Department (Department D). 
This is by far the most important Department in terms of 
USG law enforcement interests.  USG LEAs are in contact 
with its sub-entities on a daily basis, as it includes: 
the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) responsible for fighting "419" 
advance-fee fraud; the INTERPOL liaison office responsible 
for dealing with all foreign law enforcement liaison; the 
Forensics Laboratory; and the Trafficking in Persons Task 
Force.  Currently, all four of these units reside in Lagos, 
though the INTERPOL liaison office may soon move to Abuja. 
Project proposals contained in this assistance plan affect 
all four of these units. 
18.(SBU) Training (Department E).  The Training Department, 
managed by DIG Baba Ahmadu, runs four basic recruit Police 
Training Colleges (Ikeja/Lagos, Maiduguri, Enugu, and 
Kaduna), five smaller schools for new constable recruits, 
the Officer Training Academy in Kano, and a mid-level 
officer training Staff College in Jos.  The Police Reform 
Program to begin in March 2002 is designed to foster broad 
strategic reforms through the initial provision to this 
Department of a small model training program for new 
recruits in the four Police Colleges.  Senior and mid-level 
management training of NPF officers will also be provided 
at both the Jos Staff College and the Kano Officer Academy. 
19.(SBU) State Police units.  Although the Nigerian 
constitution does not allow for state or local police 
forces, many governors have constituted de facto state 
police units through the back door.  This has been done by 
governors' funding of particular groups of federal police 
to provide enhanced security functions at the state level. 
When funded largely or wholly by a State government these 
police units become beholden to the state governor, though 
still ostensibly a part of the federal police force.  A 
good example of this growing trend is the Rapid Response 
Squad (RRS) in Lagos State -- a unit of 700 police set up 
by Governor Bola Tinubu.  Vehicles, fuel and daily stipends 
are funded out of the Lagos State treasury.  Similar units 
have appeared in Rivers, Kaduna, and Oyo states.  The 
Mission has provided training and modest equipment to the 
Lagos RRS to assist it in attacking violent organized crime 
in the city. 
Proposed Projects of INL's Nigeria Program 
20.(U) The following breaks down the Mission's law 
enforcement plan into projects addressing each of the eight 
major law enforcement areas, along with specific projects 
and training activities tied to each objective. 
21.(SBU) During the past year, INL resources (FY99- 
$150,000; FY00-$350,000) were used to provide the NDLEA 
with new vehicles, repair existing vehicles in the NDLEA 
fleet, provide communications equipment for key units 
assigned to the Lagos air- and sea-ports, and drug 
detection scanners to improve interdiction efforts at 
airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano.  Additionally, 
assistance planned from FY01 funds ($150,000) will assist 
the NDLEA Academy in Jos with training-related equipment 
and USG-provided training.  A DEA course in basic drug 
enforcement skills (DEA-01) funded in FY00 will be 
implemented in mid-2002 to support the NDLEA Academy. 
Similarly, a DEA course on Airport Interdiction (DEA-05) 
will be implemented in mid-2002 to support NDLEA airport 
units assisted by INL-provided equipment (a FY00 project). 
22.(SBU) Targeting Major Traffickers.  FY02: $200,000 for 
telephone intercept equipment.  The NDLEA has been assisted 
with basic drug enforcement resources through previous INL 
funding (vehicles, communications gear, drug detection 
equipment).  This new FY02 project will provide the NDLEA's 
Joint Task Force's with cellular phone intercept equipment, 
which will boost the Joint Task Force's ability to 
investigate major drug traffickers in cooperation with DEA. 
An offering of U.S. Customs course USCS-01 (Overseas 
Enforcement Training Program--OET) is proposed for FY02 
funding to improve the skills of the NDLEA investigators in 
the Joint Task Force.  RNLEO and DEA will monitor and 
report on the use and effectiveness of the equipment and 
23.(SBU) Improving Interdiction Efforts.  FY02: $50,000 for 
a DEA Airport Interdiction Course.  Continuing with 
implementation of the INL-funded effort to improve the 
NDLEA's interdiction efforts at the Lagos air- and sea - 
ports, DEA will provide an additional offering of the 
course - DEA-05 - on Airport Interdiction Skills.  RNLEO 
and DEA will continue to monitor, through scheduled visits 
and surprise spot checks, the effectiveness of USG-assisted 
NDLEA interdiction efforts at Murtala Muhammed 
International Airport in Lagos. 
Police Reform 
25.(SBU) FY02: $1.1 million.  Building on demonstration 
projects begun in FY2002 with FY01 INL and ESF funds and 
implemented by ICITAP, additional projects to: 1) improve 
the NPF's forensic analytical capabilities ($300,000); 2) 
strengthen the currently weak cooperation between police 
investigators and state-level public prosecutors 
($200,000); and 3) provide Civil Disorder Management and 
specific conflict resolution training to special police 
units (e.g. the Rapid Response Squad in Kaduna) in order to 
improve the NPF's capacity to contain election-related 
violence in key violence-prone urban areas (e.g. Kano, 
Kaduna, Jos, Makurdi).  Both activities are high priorities 
designated by GON policy-makers.  $150,000 in funding will 
be used to provide equipment to CDM units trained. 
26.(U) This funding will extend the ICITAP-implemented 
Police assistance program to begin in March 2002.  RNLEO 
and ICITAP Project Manager (PM) will monitor progress and 
effectiveness of this project and report regularly to INL. 
A detail proposal will be sent to INL/AAE separately via e- 
27.(SBU) FY02--$200,000 in related training.  The Police 
Reform Program will be complemented by FBI-provided 
training in three specialized investigative courses and a 
training-of-trainers (TOT) activity.  The three 
investigative courses are: 1) FBI-XX: Investigating Serious 
Crimes (Homicide); 2) FBI-XX: Interview and Interrogation; 
and 3) FBI-XX: Surveillance Techniques.  The training-of- 
trainers activity will be coordinated with the ICITAP 
Police Reform Program Manager to best support ongoing 
training assistance to police institutions.  Each course 
and the TOT activity is estimated to cost $50,000.  RNLEO 
and ICITAP Project Manager (PM) would monitor and report on 
the effectiveness of this training. 
Fighting "419" Advance-Fee Fraud 
28.(SBU) FY02: $100,000 for a technical assistance project 
on asset forfeiture and $100,000 for related USSS training. 
Building on FY00 provision of vehicles and equipment 
($185,000) and FY01 advanced computer forensics training 
($79,700) to the NPF's Special Fraud Unit and INTERPOL 
office to enhance operations against 419 fraud operators in 
the Lagos area, this project seeks to make those operations 
more effective through the systematic seizure and ultimate 
forfeiture of criminal assets of 419 organizations. 
Working with the SFU, a USSS technical advisor will help 
design a program for the tracking of assets and, with the 
cooperation of the Attorney General's office, will assist 
the NPF in the drafting of new legislation to allow for the 
speedy forfeiture of these assets.  Complementing this 
technical assistance will be a regional training seminar on 
financial crimes for police and Central Bank investigators 
sponsored by the West African Institute for Financial and 
Economic Management (WAIFEM) and Central Bank 
investigators.  Also, a USSS course on Combating Economic 
Fraud and Counterfeiting (USSS-01) and a customized USSS 
training activity, an Anti-Counterfeiting Technical 
Assistance Initiative (USSS-03) will be provided to NPF 
anti-fraud investigators.  All of these training efforts 
directly support the ongoing INL-project to strengthen the 
capacity of the NPF and other investigative forces in the 
region to attack 419 and other forms of financial fraud. 
29.(SBU) DOJ's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial 
Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) will begin 
implementation of a $445,000 (FY01 ESF) project to provide 
investigative and prosecutorial training and technical 
assistance to the GON's Independent Corrupt Practices and 
Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) in April 2002.  A 
follow-on proposal to provide the ICPC with a Training-of- 
Trainers (TOT) project has been proposed with FY2002 ESF 
funds.  This will give the ICPC a sustainable capacity to 
train new personnel planned for hiring in late 2002 and 
Combating Trafficking in Persons (TIP) 
30.(U)  No FY02 INL funds are anticipated for anti-TIP 
purposes.  $200,000 in FY01 INL funds will be devoted to 
support the NPF's Anti-TIP Task Force and sensitization 
training for NPF personnel involved in fighting TIP crimes. 
Additionally, $300,000 is requested in G/TIP funds for 
investigative and prosecutorial training, through OPDAT and 
ICITAP, for NPF and MOJ/DPP investigators and prosecutors. 
31.(SBU) FY02: $200,000.  The GON's proposed Financial 
Crimes Commission is expected to start operating later in 
CY2002.  This commission will have full investigative, 
arrest and prosecutorial powers to address money laundering 
and other financial crimes and will be under the Office of 
the President.  This project will provide technical 
assistance ($125,000) in the form of USG money laundering 
experts sent to Nigeria on extended TDYs to assist the 
Commission with implementing effective regulations and will 
assist the new Commission with modest equipment ($75,000). 
Immigration Crimes 
32. FY02: $100,000 in equipment for NIS Anti-Fraud Unit and 
$50,000 for DS Anti-fraud course.  A draft MOU governing 
the role of U.S. INS agents working at the Lagos 
international airport and the GON's commitment to fighting 
immigration fraud emerged from recent bilateral 
discussions, particularly the November 9, 2001 meeting of 
the Bilateral LE Committee.  Included in the MOU is mention 
of agreed upon USG assistance to the NIS in fighting 
immigration fraud committed by Nigerian nationals 
attempting to board US-bound flights.  INS agents stationed 
TDY at the Lagos airport will work closely with the new NIS 
anti-fraud unit to interdict malafide passengers attempting 
to embark on flights to the U.S.  This project will provide 
modest equipment -- specifically fraudulent document 
detection scanners -- and a DS training course (DS-01: 
International Travel Document Fraud) for NIS investigators 
and airline security personnel to support this joint 
Budget Summary 
33. The Mission's request for FY2002 INL funds, as 
described above, is as follows: 
Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amount 
--------- . . . . . . . . . . . . .------ 
NDLEA Teltap Equip. . . . . . . . $200,000 
NDLEA Interdiction Training . . . $100,000 
Police Modernization Program. . .1,100,000 
Related Police Training (FBI). .  $200,000 
Anti-Immigration Fraud . . . . . .$100,000 
Related DS anti-fraud training . . $50,000 
Anti-419 Asset Seizures  . . . . .$100,000 
Related Anti-419 Training . . . . $100,000 
Money Laundering/FCC. . . . . . . $200,000 
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,150,000 
In addition to INL Funds requested, the following parallel 
requests for other funding for law enforcement uses have 
been made: 
Project . . . . . . . . . Amount . . . Fund Source 
------- . . . . . . . . . ------ . . . ---------- 
Anti-Corruption (ICPC) . $500,000 . . . . ESF 
Police Modernization . . $1.5 million . . ESF 
Anti-TIP (OPDAT/ICITAP). $300,000 . . . .G/TIP 
(Regional: thru UNODDCP) $350,000 . . .. G/TIP 

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