Thursday, June 19, 2014 7:42 am
Abuja- Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Tagelsir Ali, has assured that the extradition process of suspected mastermind of Abuja’s Nyanya bomb blast, Aminu Ogwuche, would be completed in earnest. ‘s
Ali told newsmen in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital on Wednesday that both Sudan and Nigeria had similar standards guiding extradition process.
Ogwuche was arrested in Sudan in May, following joint efforts of the Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, National Bureau of Interpol, and the Sudanese security operatives.
“There is an agreement between Sudan and Nigeria. It was supposed to be revisited in the last bilateral meeting that took place in Khartoum.
“The extradition treaties always got a sequence of procedures that has to be taken care of, about 17 or 18 procedures that have to be dealt with before a person can go back to his or her country.
“It is very important to wait until the procedures are finalised.
“I read some news here on the fact that Sudan was delaying the process. It’s definitely not true because I have been contacting Sudan every other day and I have been informed that everything is going on according to procedure and as soon as the procedures are finished the person will be handed over to Nigeria.
“There is nothing that holds that, only the satisfaction of the requirements of extradition. I cannot tell how soon or the specific date when we’ll see this happening but what I can say is that people are doing their best to finalise this as soon as possible.“
Ali acknowledged that the extradition process was delayed at the initial stage.
He, however, gave the assurance that the authorities involved in the process were working hard to ensure that the requirements for the repatriation of Ogwuche were fully met.
He also noted that both parties shared cooperation in the areas of security adding: “the head of security here in Nigeria is scheduled to visit the head of security in Sudan.
“Also, the Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen. Aliyu Gusau, has received an invitation from the Minister of Defence in Sudan and this exchange of visits show that there are concerns about what is happening.”
He said that both countries shared similar experiences and expressed the willingness of the Sudanese Government to assist where necessary.
“One of the things, I think, is our experience in combating these things because I think the worst war that has ever raged in Africa was the South/North war which lingered for 50 years.
“How we managed to bring this to a close is a very important lesson to learn and we are more than happy to share our experiences.
“I think one of the things we should ask for is to learn from these experiences; they may not go in the same path but violence breeds violence and it leads to a win-lose situation.
“How to take this to a win-win situation is for both parties to dialogue and seek common grounds, get to the root causes and let people rethink their strategies, sit down and dialogue within the African value setting.
“Other people may not solve Nigeria’s problem because they don’t feel it like the people do; they are only interested in their own interests.
“But Africans may be interested in Africa itself because whatever happens in Nigeria as a leading country in Africa is to affect the entire continent; any stability in Nigeria would lead to stability in other countries
“We are ready to provide some support,“ he added.
The envoy said that with the recent review of the bilateral commission, both countries were working toward strengthening the bilateral ties.
He said that trade relations between the two countries were “weak“ and that efforts were being made to strengthen them.
Ali noted that agreements in education, investment, military and political cooperation, tourism and culture among others were made and were followed up by both parties.
“What happens is border trade which is not controlled and we are trying to expedite this.
“We’ll have a consultative meeting with the both ministries of foreign affairs in August to address foreign policies of the two countries; we have got a number of state twinning programmes.
“We have some relationships at the state level, where we create twinning programmes where states agree on certain areas; that could lead to further stability between the two countries.”
The envoy said both countries co-existed peacefully and confirmed that about 10 million Nigerians live in Sudan while 12,000 Nigerian students were enrolled in different universities in the country.
The envoy also refuted the findings of a recent survey which indicted Sudan in the proliferation of small arms.
According to the 2014 Small Arms Survey carried out by Graduate Institute of International Development Studies in Geneva, stockpiles of the Sudanese Government were the primary source of weapons for non-state actors in Sudan and South Sudan.
He said: “One of our main efforts in Sudan is the collection of these small arms that definitely did not come from Sudan itself but from outside.
“We have got a department responsible for the collection of small arms in the states and they have penalties for offenders because this was what we suffered from in Darfur; people there used to attack the government like militias and these arms would make them grow
“Sudan has got its own problems so, trafficking of small arms is not in the books of Sudan.
He added that one of the major ways for Sudan to change the global perception of it was through the National African University in Sudan.
“We have students from 101 countries studying there and we haven’t heard from any of these countries that the students there are in anyway studying to be terrorists. (NAN)