The Federal Government has signed a treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with Russia.

George Edokpa, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

The treaty, negotiated in 2009, is to enhance collaboration and cooperation between the two countries in the administration of criminal justice.

Edokpa revealed that the agreement between both governments was signed on Tuesday last week in Moscow, Russia.

“The Treaty was signed on behalf of Nigeria the by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), accompanied by the Ambassador of Nigeria to the Russian Federation, Professor Steve Ugbah, while the Acting Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Mr Oleg Plokhoy signed on behalf of the Russian Federation,” he said.

“It is important to note that, the Treaty on Legal Assistance in Criminal Matter is aimed at providing the necessary mechanism for cooperation in the fight against crime and criminal related matters, including terrorism, as well as to counter every form of support to terrorism.”

Edokpa further stated that the treaty would assist in the fight against corruption as it makes provision for the tracing, recovery, forfeiture or confiscation of stolen assets, as well as the proceeds and instruments of crime.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman added, “According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Nigeria would benefit from this agreement as it would not only afford the country the opportunity to request for the arrest, surrender, investigation and prosecution of all persons who may have committed crimes and escape to The Russian Federation, but will be assured of the Russian cooperation in the tracing, recovery and repatriation of the stolen assets.”