Nigeria and the United Kingdom have gone a step further in the proposed Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA).

Both countries on Thursday in Abuja signed the agreement as first step to actualizing the plan.

The prisoners do not have a say on the issue.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammad Adoke (SAN) and UK Minister of Justice, Mr. Jeremy Wright, signed the agreement at a ceremony coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Experts from both countries are expected to come up with the modalities for implementation. After which the two countries will ratify it before it will come into force.

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The agreement has been on the table for a while now before Thursday’s signing. It was also learnt that the agreement has been in place among Commonwealth countries but has not been fully enforced.

Speaking at the occasion Wright assured that his country will show commitment to the implementation of the agreement.

He said “This is a good agreement for both Nigeria and UK. It gives us an opportunity to strengthen our partnership and friendship. It is also an opportunity to ensure that the prisoners which come from either country will serve their sentences in their own countries and that is better for their rehabilitation.

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“It is difficult to be precise about figures of how many prisoners will be affected. But not all of them will be eligible for the transfer agreement.

“What we anticipate is that the Nigerian government will wish to identify a number of prisoners, we will be able to look at these prisoners and provide some assistance. That is a process that will be ongoing.”

Wright said the agreement will help prisoners in their rehabilitation and reintegration into the society if they served their jail term in their home countries.

On his part Adoke said the prisoners have no choice in the transfer agreement.

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