Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nigerian asks govt to halt U.S. deportation plan

A NATURALISED Nigerian, James Kenneth Tillery, has petitioned the Federal Government to halt plans by the United States’ (U.S) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Interpol to extradite him from Nigeria to the U.S.
In a petition dated August 16, 2010, Tillery through his counsel, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said that the attempt by the U.S. government to unlawfully extradite him from Nigeria was in utter disregard of the sovereignty of Nigeria and her Extradition Act.

Tillery said to be a former chief Executive of a controversial oilfield servicing company, Wilbros, was arrested on Sunday and kept in custody until he was handed over to officers of the FBI who then whisked him away to the U.S. Embassy for the purpose of being taken to the U.S.

“These procedures of arrest, detention, handing over to the FBI and attempted extradition from Nigeria constitute a grave assault on the sovereignty of Nigeria and violation of the Extradition Act in provisions of Sections 6 and 7.

Oyetibo further stated that diplomatic written request should have been made by the U.S. government to the Attorney General of the Federation who would after reviewing the facts, issue an order for a Magistrate to issue a warrant of arrest against Tillery pursuant to which he can then be arrested.

“Tillery would have been afforded an opportunity of being heard before he is extradited, all these legal procedures were brushed aside by the U.S. government and the Interpol when Tillery was handed over by the Interpol to the American FBI at Alagbon Close, Ikoyi as if there was no law in Nigeria.”

Immigration officials at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos did not allow Tillery to be taken out of Nigeria because the U.S. officials who attempted to take him across the border had no travelling documents for him. This was another grave violation of the law of Nigeria and assault on the sovereignty of the nation,” Oyetibo said.

He said: We have however been further informed that efforts are being made by the U.S. officials to hurriedly prepare travelling documents for him to facilitate his extradition from Nigeria as he is presently being detained at the MMA.”

He added: Tillery is Nigeria by naturalisation and that there had been flagrant violation of the law of Nigeria, particularly sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Sections 6 and 7 of the Extradition Act of Nigeria in the procedure leading to his arrest, detention and attempted transfer out of Nigeria.

He, therefore, urged the government to ensure that the sovereignty of Nigeria was not denigrated and assaulted by the U.S. FBI and Interpol in this matter by ensuring that Tillery was not taken away from Nigeria in utter disregard of the laws of Nigeria.

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