Cablegate: Lunch Conference On Drugs and Financial Crimes

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.






E.O. 12598: N/A
SUBJECT: Lunch Conference on Drugs and Financial Crimes


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The President's Special Advisor on
Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Dr. Ibrahim Lame hosted a
three hour lunch and meeting on drugs and related crimes on
April 19. Media questioned Dr. Lame, Attorney General Bola
Ige and NDLEA Chairman Lafiaji, among others, on current
crime and drug-related issues. A frank discussion with
media present, was led by the AG. All agreed the forum
should continue, and the AG called on Lame and the NDLEA to
organize a separate meeting to develop a blueprint for
Nigeria's cooperation on fighting drugs and related money-
laundering. Tony Esu, Chairman of the House Committee on
Narcotics and Financial Crimes, confirmed the report that
10 members of his Committee were touring Washington and
Baltimore on National Assembly funds. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) RNLEO and Lagos DEA Representative attended a
lunch meeting hosted by the President's Special Advisor on
Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Dr. Ibrahim Lame. Other
notable attendees included the Attorney General Bola Ige
and NDLEA Chairman Lafiaji. Media was present throughout
the event, and the discussions were remarkably frank.

3. (SBU) EXTRADITION AND RENDITION: Several of the media's
questions focused on the questions of extradition to the
U.S. of Nigerian citizens. In a response to a general
question on whether extraditions to the U.S. are "right or
ethical," the AG responded that "no extradition has taken
place without due process of law." Another reporter made
the allegation that the turning over to United States
custody of four Nigerians last November was extra-legal.
Ige responded by noting that "this was not an extradition"
and stating that " there are ways to move people from one
country to another" without using the formal extradition
process. The Minister of State for Justice made the
follow-on point that extradition or rendition was not an
act of determining guilt of a suspect for a crime. He
cited the recent trial of two Libyans on charges relating
to the bombing of Pan Am 103 as an example of how two
suspects were extradited to another country, given a fair
trial, and one was acquitted and free to return home. The
AG had the final word by asking the media rhetorically:
"Should Nigeria become a haven for those who commit serious

45-minute discussion chaired by the AG, RNLEO, DEA Country
Attache, the UNDCP Regional Representative, and the UK Drug
Liaison Officer joined about 20 Nigerian officials (from
Lame's office, NDLEA, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),
the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the
Police) in a frank exchange of views on what could be done
to improve Nigeria's efforts to address drug trafficking
and financial crimes. DEA Attache suggested that the GON,
through the NDLEA, create a mechanism for expanded regional
anti-drug, anti-crime cooperation, particularly with regard
to the sharing of timely intelligence on trafficking
activities. All agreed that the discussion should
continue. RNLEO suggested that a future meeting could be
dedicated to money laundering issues, which everyone
appeared to accept. The AG called on Lame and the NDLEA to
organize a separate group, including the CBN, NDIC, Police
and NDLEA to meet with the U.S. Embassy, British High
Commission and UNDCP to develop a blueprint for Nigeria's
cooperation with the international community on fighting
drugs and related money laundering.

5. (SBU) NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TRAVEL: On the margins of the
discussion, RNLEO managed to speak with Tony Esu, Chairman
of the House Committee on Narcotics and Financial Crimes
about an email report from INL that 10 members of the
Committee were touring Washington and Baltimore on National
Assembly funds. Esu confirmed the report, and claimed the
group is looking into demand reduction programs, and will
meet with ONDCP on Monday. RNLEO had heard from INL that
all, including the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, were
caught unaware of the travel. (Note: Esu called RNLEO on
April 27 for assistance with visas for five of his
committee members making two return visits to the U.S. for
conferences on Financial Crimes -- one in Los Angeles --
within the next three weeks. end note)

6. (SBU) Comment: This initiative by the AG, NDLEA Chairman
and President's Special Advisor represents a good sign and
an uncommon, transparent and important approach to counter-
narcotics and financial crimes that we have not seen here

© Scoop Media

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