This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002983
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: SNAR NI SUBJECT: DRUG CERTIFICATION REPORT CARD FOR NIGERIA
REF: STATE 189553
1. This responds to reftel's request for a certification report card showing the Government of Nigeria's accomplishments in achieving certification benchmarks set out earlier in the year.
A. Major Traffickers
1) improved effectiveness of the NDLEA/DEA Joint Task Force leading to international narcotics investigations and prosecutions involving major Nigeria-based traffickers
--THE JOINT TASK FORCE HAS BEEN REINVIGORATED; IN MID-2001 IT BEGAN INVESTIGATING A MAJOR TRAFFICKER WITH DEA COOPERATION.
2) Increased GON resources for the NDLEA
--IN JULY 2001 PRESIDENT OBASANJO AUTHORIZED A SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET APPROPRIATION OF 250 MILLION NAIRA (EQUIVALENT TO USD 2.3 MILLION), EFFECTIVELY A 200 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE NDLEA'S BUDGET.
3) Effective use of training and material assistance provided by the USG
--AIRPORT INTERDICTION TRAINING GIVEN TO NDLEA OFFICERS IN OCTOBER 2000 AND DRUG DETECTION ITEMISERS TURNED OVER TO THE NDLEA IN MAY 2001 HAVE LED TO MUCH STRONGER INTERDICTION EFFORTS AT LAGOS' MURTALA MUHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
4) Efficient GON response to law enforcement requests from other countries.
--NIGERIA HAS EXPANDED DRUG CONTROL COOPERATION WITH OTHER COUNTRIES THROUGH A NUMBER OF NEW FORA DURING THE LAST YEAR, INCLUDING THE SOUTH AFRICA-NIGERIA BILATERAL COMMISSION, THE DEA-SPONSORED WEST AFRICAN JOINT OPERATIONS INITIATIVE AND THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES (ECOWAS).
1) Establishing a special prosecutorial team that works on extradition cases; 2)Creating a special element in the High Court composed of one or more judges designated to hear extradition cases; 3) Providing any such judge or judges with the staff and resources necessary to hear cases expeditiously; and 4) Expeditiously conducting a review of outstanding U.S. requests for extradition and filing with the High Court extradition requests that can be pursued.
--DURING THE NOVEMBER 9 MEETING OF THE BILATERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE BETWEEN NIGERIA AND THE U.S., THE GON PLEDGED TO BEGIN PROCESSING USG EXTRADITION REQUESTS USING A DEDICATED PROSECUTORIAL TEAM AND A JUDGE SELECTED TO HANDLE EXTRADITION CASES EXCLUSIVELY.
1) Expanding NDLEA's jurisdiction to Nigeria's sea ports leading to seizures, arrests and prosecutions;
--IN AUGUST 2001 PRESIDENT OBASANJO ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER GRANTING THE NDLEA FULL OPERATIONAL ACCESS TO NIGERIA'S SEA PORTS. THE NDLEA HAS SINCE SET UP FIVE NEW ZONAL COMMANDS (BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 25) TO INTENSIFY INTERDICTION EFFORTS AT THE COUNTRY'S FIVE LARGEST PORTS -- CALABAR, PORT HARCOURT, TIN CAN ISLAND, WARRI AND APAPA.
2) Intensify efforts at the Lagos airport to ensure that any direct flights to the United States from Nigeria do not become major conduits for drug trafficking.
--THE NDLEA UNIT AT MURTALA MUHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CONDUCTS 100 PERCENT SCREENING OF CARRY-ON BAGGAGE OF PASSENGERS EMBARKING ON THE SOUTH AFRICA AIRWAYS/NIGERIA AIRWAYS DIRECT FLIGHT TO THE U.S. (NEW YORK/JFK). A SIGN OF AN EFFECTIVE INTERDICTION PROFILE IN NIGERIA IS THE FACT THAT ONLY ONE DRUG SEIZURE HAS BEEN REPORTED BY U.S. CUSTOMS AT JFK IN CONNECTION WITH THIS FLIGHT -- COMPARED TO MANY SEIZURES MADE FROM THE GHANA AIRWAYS FLIGHT FROM ACCRA TO JFK.
D. Money Laundering
1) The GON must make significant progress in establishing a mechanism for bank monitoring and reporting cross-border and significant internal financial transactions to a central unit;
--IN OCTOBER 2001 THE GON FINISHED A DRAFT LAW THAT CREATES A FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION SERVING THE FUNCTION OF A CENTRAL GON UNIT TO COORDINATE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES AND POLICY WHILE IMPROVING MONITORING OF NIGERIA'S 89 BANKS 2) The GON must make significant progress in enacting new and enforcing existing money laundering legislation.
--IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION LAW, THE GON IS DRAFTING A NEW MONEY LAUNDERING LAW THAT RECOGNIZES THE DEFICIENCIES OF THE 1995 MONEY LAUNDERING ACT BY EXPANDING COVERAGE BEYOND DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING TO THE PROCEEDS OF OTHER CRIMES AND IMPROVING ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS. AT THE NOVEMBER 9 BILATERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING IN WASHINGTON, THE GON PLEDGED TO INTRODUCE THE NEW MONEY LAUNDERING LAW BEFORE NIGERIA'S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BY MARCH 2002.
E. Asset Forfeiture
1) The GON should enact legislation that reduces the government's standard of proof required for effecting forfeiture of property; and 2) the GON should auction forfeited assets of substantial value and using at least 50 percent of the proceeds to augment the NDLEA or NPF budget.
--DURING THE NOVEMBER 9 BILATERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING IN WASHINGTON, THE GON PLEDGED TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION ALLOWING FOR CIVIL FORFEITURE OF ASSETS, WITH THE PROCEEDS OF THOSE ASSETS TO GO LARGELY TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AFFECTING THE SEIZURES,BY MARCH 2002.
1) The GON should properly staff and fund the Anti-Corruption Commission; and 2) properly staff and fund both the NDLEA and NPF special offices of professional responsibility and ensure that they have the authority to bring criminal charges or to recommend administrative punishments for lesser offenses.
--THE GON HAS BEGUN HIRING THE FIRST DEDICATED STAFF FOR THE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION, WHICH WILL GREATLY EXPAND THE COMMISSION'S SIZE AND STRENGTHEN ITS CAPACITY. GON OFFICIALS ALSO CLAIM THAT FUNDING FOR THE COMMISSION, CURRENTLY AT USD 5 MILLION A YEAR, WILL BE ENHANCED IN THE COMING BUDGET CYCLE.