|01ABUJA1041||2001-05-09 05:37:00||SECRET//NOFORN||Embassy Abuja|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T ABUJA 001041
1. (S/NF) During a breakfast meeting to discuss President
Obasanjo's visit to Washington, Ambassador Jeter delivered
reftel points. President Obasanjo made an exaggerated look
of being taken aback and said, "Ssh! Don't even mention
renditions!" The President quickly became serious,
however, saying that the Chief Judge of the High Court
(Justice Belgore) was clearly corrupt and that the Chief
Justice (Justice Mohammed Uwais) knew it. However, Uwais
and was not sure of best way to proceed since proving
charges of corruption against Belgore would be difficult.
The President stated that he very much wants Nigeria to
follow the treaty-based extradition process. Ambassador
Jeter asked if it would be possible to look into creating a
"special panel" to hear extradition cases. The President
said he thought it would be.
2. (C) COMMENT: Renditions are a politically touchy
subject. Post had discussed the possibility of creating a
special extradition panel within the Federal High Court
with AG Ige late last year. Post had proposed to link DOJ
training for Nigerian prosecutors in handling extraditions
to the creation of such a panel. Difficulties arose over
funding and participation levels, and the event never took
place. Post will raise the special panel concept again
with the AG when he returns from Washington, and will
discuss with him the specific issue of what the GON plans
to do with the three individuals in detention in Lagos.
3. (S/NF) COMMENT CONTINUED: One potential problem with an
extradition panel is that it would have to be established
by Belgore. END COMMENT.