President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a bill into law, known as mutual assistant in criminal matters Act, 2019, making it possible for those who commit crime in Nigeria and run away to other countries to be arrested and prosecuted anywhere in the world.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), Dr. Ita Enang who briefed news men today, June 21 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the law is aimed at obtaining from other countries, on reciprocal basis, mutual assistance in the prosecution of Criminal matters, including the location and identification of suspects, witnesses and other materials for prosecution of criminal matters.
“Other objects include but not limited to:
(I) (9) the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds, property and other instrumentalities of crime;
(II) (k) the interception of telecommunications (II) (i) conversion of electronic surveillance
(IV) (m) the restraint of dealings in property, or the freezing of assets, that may be recovered, forfeited or confiscated in respect of offences.
And other assistance that is not contrary to the municipal law of the requesting State.”
Dr. Ita Enang said that the Attorney -General of the Federation is designated as the Central Authority for making, receiving and transmitting requests for assistance to and from other countries as well as performing other functions reserved in the Act.
He said that where the alleged offence is of a political character or an offence under military law or is not an offence under the laws of Nigeria, the provisions of this law shall not apply, saying that the new law comes into effect from June 20, 2019.