By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah,
In a bid to strengthen the anti-graft war in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday signed instruments of ratification for a number of bilateral agreements on anti- corruption with some countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The agreements to be ratified are the pact on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, the agreement on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters, agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons and extradition treaty.
In his remarks after the signing of agreement between the federal government and other entities, President Buhari said he was delighted to perform the duty of executing instruments of ratification of certain agreements on behalf of the federal republic of Nigeria, pursuant to the powers conferred on him by Section 5(1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and Article 7 of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties of 1969.
According to him, the signing ceremony marked a very important milestone in his administration’s demonstration of sovereign capacity to fulfill its international obligations and take important steps for the benefit of the economy, security and the anti-corruption war within and outside Nigeria.
The president said, “ The full implementation of the agreements has, however, been delayed due to the need by both sides to conclude their respective ratification processes.
“I am happy to note, therefore, that pursuant to a Memorandum presented to the Federal Executive Council by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Council has approved the ratification of the said agreements, thus paving the way for today’s ceremony.
“With this sovereign act, which has been replicated in the United Arab Emirates by their responsible authorities, we are now in a position to utilise these agreements fully to foster cooperation between our respective authorities particularly for the purpose of prosecuting the anti-corruption campaign of this Government”.
Similarly, President Buhari listed other Instruments of Ratification slated for execution to include, Charter for the Lake Chad Basin between Nigeria, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger and the Republic of Chad.
Others are, African Tax Administration Forum Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters, world Intellectual Property Organisation Performances and Phonograms Treaty, the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty on Audio-Visual Performances and Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise.
The President expressed hope that the instruments that are signed will reinvigorate the anti-corruption war and check the illicit flow of funds out of the country to other jurisdictions, improve national security, food security, boost the economic and tax regimes and improve the overall well-being of the country’s creative community.
“All agencies of government with roles to play under the respective Treaties now ratified are hereby directed to ensure that they play their anticipated roles in an effective and responsible manner in order to ensure that we reap the full benefits of these Agreements. I thank you all for your attention and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he stated.