President Buhari signs Mutual Assistance Bill on criminal matters into law

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Mutual Assistance Bill on Criminal Matters Act, 2019.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National assembly matters, Ita Enang disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Friday.

He said ”the Act would help Nigeria get the needed cooperation from other countries on the prosecution of criminal matters.”

”The aim is to obtain from other countries, on reciprocal basis, mutual assistance in the prosecution of Criminal matters including the location and identification of suspects, witnesses and other materials for prosecution of criminal matters,” Enang explained.

The Presidential aid listed other objectives of the act to 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.

Enang also said: “The Attorney -General of the Federation is designated 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 law comes into effect from June 20, 2019.


Mercy Chukwudiebere