Buhari assents to Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, 2019 whose aim is to obtain from other countries looters of treasury for prosecution.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang, who disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja on Friday, it will, however, be on a reciprocal basis with the countries.

He said the Act provides for mutual assistance in the prosecution of criminal matters including the location and identification of suspects, witnesses and other materials for prosecution of criminal matters.

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Other provisions include the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds, property and other instrumentalities of crime; the interception of telecommunications,  conversion of electronic surveillance,  the restraint of dealings in property, or the freezing of assets, that may be recovered, forfeited or confiscated in respect of offences and other assistance that is not contrary to the municipal law of the requesting state.

The Act designates the Attorney -General of the Federation as the Central Authority for making, receiving and transmitting requests for assistance to and from other countries as well as performing other functions reserved in the Act.

Where the alleged offence is of a political character or an offence under military law or is not an offence under the laws of Nigeria, the provisions of this law shall not apply, the presidential aide said.

This law comes into effect from June 20, 2019.

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