The Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Tagelsir Ali, has said that the extradition of the Nyanya blast suspect, Sadiq Ogwuche, requires 17 steps which must be satisfied before the terror suspect could be brought back to Nigeria to face trial.
According to him, the Sudanese official handling the process are doing their best to complete the formalities to extradite Ogwuche.
Ogwuche, shortly after the April 14, 2014 blast in Nyanya, Abuja fled to Sudan. No fewer than 72 people died in the blast. INTERPOL has begun the process of extraditing the suspect to Nigeria
Ali, in an interview with select journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, said Nigeria had an extradition treaty with Sudan which was to be reviewed at the last bilateral meeting but could not be done.
He tendered a document containing the 17 conditions to be fulfilled, including the fact that the request for extradition “must be supported by a ‘self-contained affidavit’ executed by the court by whom the fugitive is wanted or by a senior police officer in charge of the case (not below the rank of a Superintendent of Police of the concerned investigating agency) sworn before a judicial magistrate (of the court by which the fugitive is wanted for prosecution.)”
Among other things, he said the affidavit should contain brief facts and history of the case, the statements of witnesses and other documentary evidences including the criminal’s description establishing his identity, and provision of the law, so that a prima facie case could be established against the fugitive.
The requirements, he added, include a copy of First Information Report duly countersigned by a competent judiciary authority which must be enclosed with the request as well as a letter or order from the court justifying the accused person’s committal for trial on the basis of evidence made available in the charge sheet, with a direction seeking the accused person’s presence in court to stand trial in the said court from the country of present stay.
The envoy said, “There is an agreement between Sudan and Nigeria which was supposed to be revisited in the last bilateral meeting that took place in Khartoum between Sudan and Nigeria.
“The extradition treaty is always a sequence of procedures that have to be taken care of, I think it goes to about 17 or 18 procedures that have to be dealt with before a person can be sent back to his country and this is what we keep saying that a country should observe these things. It is very important to wait until the procedures are finalised.
“When I read some news here about the fact that Sudan is delaying the process, it is not just true because I’m being contacted from Sudan every other day on this issue and am being informed that everything is going on according to procedures and as soon as the procedures are finished, the person will be given back to Nigeria; nothing can stop that. I am sure things are going according to plan, they are trying to satisfy the requirements one by one.”
The envoy said his country was not a safe haven for terrorists, noting that the arrest of Ogwuche by security operatives in Sudan showed that the country abhorred terrorism.
He stated that Ogwuche was being held in a security facility in Sudan, adding that the terror suspect was arrested by the Sudanese security agencies the moment he was declared wanted by the INTERPOL.
The envoy assured the Federal Government that Sudanese officials would soon finalise the extradition formalities and repatriate Ogwuche whom he said came to his country for study with a British passport.
He said, “Ogwuche came to Sudan to study with a British passport and he later declared himself a lion of Allah and started engaging in terrorist acts, but he was immediately arrested and kept in a security facility when we learnt that he was involved in the Nyanya blast.
“I met with the Nigerian ambassador to Sudan and he thanked me for the assistance we rendered in arresting the suspect, so it is not true that Sudan supports terrorism.”
The ambassador, who denied that Sudan was a training ground for extremists and terrorists, noted that the country was working to change the global perception that it was a ground for grooming violent radicals.
Asked why terrorists like Osama bin Laden and other extremists found Sudan a conducive place for their terrorists activities, Ali laughed off the question and said “but that was a long time ago and Osama was kicked out when we realised that he was engaging in terrorism.”
Ali stated that his country would not allow terrorism to thrive, noting that it was working hard to change the negative global perception about the nation as a terror sponsor, adding that Sudan was also battling terror attacks and would not support terrorism in any way.
He stated that there were 12,000 Nigerian students in Sudan, adding that the nation has a long history of relationship with Nigeria, with millions of Nigerians living in different parts of Sudan.
Ali, who said he was a member of the peace committee that ended the civil war in Sudan, advised the Federal Government to explore a new approach to solving the Boko Haram crisis, noting that the security challenge in the country could only be resolved through negotiation. – Punch.