The U.S. Justice Department has said the embattled former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, could be extradited to the country to stand trial as long as the Federal Government followed due process.
The erstwhile minister had last week, dared the federal government to extradite him from the U.S, his current place of residence, following the invasion of his home in Lagos by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who made away with cars and other valuables.
But Peter Carr, an official at the United States Department of Justice, DOJ, said the former minister’s extradition from the U.S. was possible provided the Federal Government did the needful.
The official responding to an email sent by online portal, SaharaReporters, on the issue at the weekend, said: ‘’Within (existing) statutory and treaty framework, US is generally to extradite its citizens, assuming that the requirements of the treaty are met. The fact of dual nationality with Nigeria would be irrelevant in this context.’’
Quoting Article 8 of the extradition treaty, Carr said it ‘’specifies that extraditions will comply with the laws of the requested country, i.e. the place where the fugitive is found.’’
Also speaking on the issue, an international legal expert in the U.S., Roger Clark, said ‘’the United States has no problem extraditing its nationals, provided there is a treaty.’’
Clark, an expert on international criminal law and a professor at Rutgers University School of Law in the United States, noted that some countries in Western Europe were reluctant to extradite their own citizens but noted that common law countries didn’t usually have a problem, assuming legal processes were followed.
According to him, common law countries, including Nigeria, will often fall under the same treaty that outlines reciprocal and mutually agreed on rules for extraditing their nationals.