The Federal Government has asked the 77 Nigerians arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in an ongoing investigation related to fraud cases to voluntarily turn themselves in or risk being extradited to the United States.
The chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
Nick Hanna, a US attorney, had said investigations which began since 2016 showed that the suspects colluded with federal and state agents to dupe unsuspecting victims of their money.
He said a total of 80 suspects “many of whom are from Nigeria” have been arrested and charged to court with 57 more being hunted globally.
However, Dabiri-Erewa said while those fingered are still innocent until proven guilty, they should voluntarily surrender to the US authorities to clear their names.
The commission chairperson added that the commission would continue to monitor the developments closely.
She said: “We acknowledge the fact that accusation does not mean guilt, and we hope that all the accused will be given fair and speedy trial.
“We also ask those accused in Nigeria to voluntarily turn themselves in to American authorities to clear their names without which the Nigerian government should extradite them if relevant international treaties between the two governments are invoked.
“While such actions ultimately have negative effect on the image of the country, the commission, however, reiterates as it has always done, that the actions of a few Nigerians involved in criminal activities is not and can never be what the majority of Nigerians represent.”