What is an extradition treaty and Why Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and co can still be extradited to Cameroon without an Extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria.

Since the news about the arrest of Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts broke out, there has been a heated debate about whether ...






Since the news about the arrest of Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts broke out, there has been a heated debate about whether the Amabazonia leaders will be extradited to Cameroon to stand trial or not. According to many Ambazonians, its impossible for Nigeria to extradite Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts to Cameroon because there,s  "no extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria".

Yes! as of now (14th January, 2018) there's no extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria but that doesn,t prevent Nigeria from honoring extradition request from Cameroon.

In this post, i,m going to define the term EXTRADITION AND EXTRADITION TREATY and also explain to you the relationship between the two concepts or how extradition works. Ok let's get down to bizness.


What is Extradition?

Extradition is the process by which an alleged criminal located outside Cameroon (or  the country where he or she has been accused of committing a crime) is handed over by a foreign government to Cameroon (or to the country where he has been accused of committing the crime) for trial and/or punishment.

What is an Extradition treaty?  An extradition treaty or agreement is a document (with clauses) which stipulates how extradition is conducted by a particular country. Every country has its extradition treaty or agreement and before they can extradite an alleged criminal to another country, the country (requesting for the extradition of a particular person or group of people) must have signed their extradition treaty or agreement indicating that they are willing abide with the terms of their extradition treaty or agreement.

For example most countries have clearly stated  (as a clause) in their extradition treaty (agreement) that they will not extradite in the following conditions...


--If a person is only a suspect.
---  If the crime the person has been accused of, is not murder, attempted murder, rape, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, etc.
--- Most countries have clearly stated in their extradition treaty that they will not extradite their citizens to stand trial in a foreign country. 
--- Most extradition treaties has clause which stipulates the time frame in which criminals aught to be extradited.

Summarily, extradition treaties usually specifies who can be extradited, for what crimes, etc.
ETC ETC


Once an extradition treaty or agreement is signed, a country is bound to extradite alleged criminals based on the conditions stipulated in their extradition treaty or agreement....irrespective of whether the diplomatic relationship between the two countries is strained at the period when the extradition request was sent. If an extradition treaty was signed by both countries then it must be respected.

Listen Up!!!

Without an extradition treaty signed, a country is under no obligation to extradite the alleged criminal(s) to a foreign country except they deem it necessary

For example if there's no extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria, Nigeria is under no obligation to extradite an alleged criminal to Cameroon (no matter his or her crime) except they deem it necessary. In other words since there's no extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria, Nigeria can either choose to honor an extradition request from Cameroon or not. In that situation, Cameroon government and other organisations (Like UN, AU, Common Wealth) cannot compel Nigeria to extradite an alleged criminal.


So even without an extradition treaty signed by Cameroon and Nigeria, Extradition is still possible but the extradition will be carried out in an uncontrollable manner because there,s no extradition treaty binding the extradition process. For example the Cameroon government cannot compell Nigeria to extradite Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts within a specific time frame because they are under no obligation to do so. This case can be liken to a tenant who took occupation of an apartment without signing a tenancy agreement. That tenant is free to obey or disobey the instruction of his or her landlord if he or she deems it necessary because no tenancy agreement was signed.

So if there,s no extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria, Nigeria can still honor an extradition request from Cameroon owing to the good diplomatic relationship between the two countries and especially if the crime committed is recognized as a felony in Nigeria. As of the date of this publication, the diplomatic relationship between Cameroon and Nigeria is all time high. 

Since the onset of the Biafra and the Ambazonia movement, Cameroon and Nigeria have been working hand in hand to ensure that their countries doesn't become a safe haven for the secessionist fleeing from arrest or prosecution.


As a reminder, last month (i.e. on the 8th of December,2017 during the peak of the battle in Manyu division), the Nigerian high commissioner to Cameroon: H.E Lawan Labba Gashagar, paid a working visit to Cameroon, specifically to discuss about the bilateral relationship between Cameroon and Nigeria with the Cameroon minister of territorial administration and decentralization; Rene Emmanuel Sadi. The two diplomats also discussed about the Anglophone crisis owing to the fact that some Cameroon refugees had crossed the border to seek refuge in Nigeria as a result of the battle in Manyu division. After a 30 minutes audience with the Cameroon minister of territorial administration, the Nigerian high commissioner to Cameroon: H.E Lawan Labba Gashagar told the press that the Nigerian government (Muhammadou Buhari) supports a return to peace and the preservation of Cameroon territorial integrity. The Nigerian high commissioner to Cameroon also reaffirm his country's commitment to reinforce security within the border towns so that Nigeria should not be perceived as a safe haven for terrorists.

Now that Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts have been arrested, this is the time for the Nigerian government to WALK THE TALK or match words with action by extraditing Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts to Cameroon for them to stand trial.


I will like to conclude by clearly stating that extradition treaties were not primarily created to protect criminals but to facilitate the extradition of suspected criminals to ensure that no country becomes a safe haven for criminals. It should be noted that extradition requests are not often issued for misdemeanors but for crimes considered as felony. No country is interested in drafting clauses to protect such heartless people but to facilitate their presecution.


OTHER METHODS THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT CAN USE TO INDIRECTLY EXTRADITE SISIKU AYUK TABE AND HIS COHORTS INCLUDE;

Even if Cameroon has no extradition treaty with Nigeria, Nigeria still reserve the right to deport foreigners whose presence in their country is detrimental to national security. So there's a high probability that Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts will be deported or repatriated back to Cameroon if not eligible to be extradited.

After i pubished the above information on my Facebook account, so many secessionist said it wasn,t possible for Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and co to be deported because they are refugees which isn,t true

Sisiku AyukTabe and his cohorts have not been given a refugee status in Nigeria. According to the definition provided by the Refugee convention,  A refugee is a person who ‘owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. In other words a Refugee status is awarded to someone an immigration office recognizes as a refugee as described by the Refugee Convention. A person given refugee status is normally granted leave to remain in the country which granted him or her asylum for 5 years, and at the end of that period can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts doesn,t fit the above description because of the following reasons..


  • Sisiku AyukTabe have been very mobile i.e. within the past 6 months  Sisiku and his cohorts have travelled to more than 3 different countries. A person with a refugee status cannot be so mobile like Sisiku AyukTabe and his cohorts.
  • Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts have been accused of a crime which is regarded as a felony in Nigeria and Cameroon. Due to the above reason they can be repatriated. Sisiku AyukTabe and his cohorts are unlike the other refugees in Nigeria who are fleeing from war. They are the cause of the instability in Manyu.
Based on the above facts, there's a high probability that Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts will be extradited OR repatriated to Cameroon. If that happens.........u all know the end of the story.





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Solowayne: What is an extradition treaty and Why Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and co can still be extradited to Cameroon without an Extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria.
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