President Umaru Yar’Adua today requested the Angolan President to extradite to Nigeria, two Nigerians recently arrested in Angola for alleged gun running.
A State House statement issued in Riyadh, where the President is currently participating in the 3rd OPEC Summit, said Yar’Adua made the request at a meeting with the Angolan President, Eduardo dos Santos, in Riyadh.
The President commended his Angolan counterpart for his government’s effort towards ridding the Gulf of Guinea region, of criminal activities.
He called for continuous cooperation by all governments for greater security in the sub-region and Africa.
President Yar’Adua also sought Angola’s cooperation on the issue of an African Stand-by Force, stating that the concept was very necessary.
“I have already started consultations with some leaders of the continent on the need for such a force, to remove the need for external intervention forces and foreign military bases on the continent. ”
President Dos Santos thanked Yar’Adua for the meeting.
He said Angola had sufficient proof of alleged gun-running against the two Nigerians as well as their links with the Niger Delta militants.
Dos Santos, who acknowledged receiving a Nigerian delegation sent to Luanda to discuss the issue, said however, there were “technical legal details” involved in the extradition process which needed to be sorted out.
“We are trying to find a formula to resolve the issue which has nothing to do with politics but criminality; they are Nigerian citizens, so we cannot charge them in Angola.”
“I assure you that we will ultimately release them to you for trial in Nigeria, but we must resolve the legal issues first ”, Dos Santos said.
The Nigerians, including a leader of a militant group in the Niger Delta, Henry Okah, were arrested in September in Angola for alleged gun running.