The United States and Nigeria have taken proactive measures to cement their shared objectives and partner on security, as well as fixing their criminal justice systems.
This was revealed when a deputy assistant secretary (DAS) with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), Tobin Bradley engaged in a series of high-level meetings and visits during his stay in Nigeria from September 3 to 9.
Bradley conducted productive discussions with key Nigerian officials, including the National Security Advisor, the Minister of Justice and the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force. Additionally, he met with the Minister of Interior and the chairman of the Police Service Commission. His agenda also featured interactions with pivotal law enforcement agencies, such as the Nigerian Correctional Service, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The primary focus of these meetings and visits revolved around deepening collaboration between Nigeria and the United States across various shared objectives. Notably, these objectives encompassed the enhancement of civilian security, the promotion of criminal justice reform and the reinforcement of judicial systems.
This visit underscored the unwavering commitment of the United States to partnering with international allies in the collective effort to combat insecurity and develop innovative solutions for advancing criminal justice reform. During his visit to Keffi, Bradley inspected the Keffi Correctional Facility, where INL played a crucial role in funding the implementation of a case management system. This system was introduced to address the challenges associated with pre-trial detention in Nigeria, underscoring the commitment of both nations to effectively address these issues.
While in Abuja, Bradley convened with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to explore opportunities for continued U.S. support in advancing human trafficking investigations and prosecutions within Nigeria. His visit to the Magistrates Court Wuse Zone 2 in Abuja provided insight into how INL-funded transcription software is streamlining administrative tasks, expediting case processing and facilitating quicker court judgments.
Moreover, as a testament to the United States’ commitment to bolstering counter-narcotics efforts in Nigeria, Bradley handed over equipment to the NDLEA to strengthen interventions against narcotics-related issues.
Bradley also engaged in discussions with the EFCC, exploring potential avenues for INL to collaborate in the fight against cross-border financial crimes. Their deliberations centred on strategies for upholding the rule of law by holding individuals and organizations accountable for financial misconduct.
In a broader context, Bradley met with local partners, including the Partners West Africa Network (PWAN), Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). These interactions allowed him to express appreciation for their ongoing collaboration with INL, emphasising the significance of their collective efforts in advancing shared objectives related to enhancing criminal justice and fortifying the rule of law in both the United States and Nigeria.