The United States may soon relax or completely lift the restriction on military assistance imposed on Nigeria under the country’s Leahy Law.
The U.S. congressman, Darrel Issah, disclosed this on Monday while speaking to pressmen shortly after meeting with Nigeria’s service chiefs and Ministry of Defence officials in Abuja.
He said the development was occasioned by the policy of the new military command with regards to the ongoing military operations in the country.
“There were a number of things that were discussed at the meeting but basically the need for additional technical support including overhead surveillance. This was discussed because it is important in the fight against Boko Haram.
“This is because of the trust in the new regime which has begun the process of ensuring that the military’s professionalism in the battle field is made in a way that we all can be confident that the rule of law is followed.
“Following this development, we have begun the process of lifting restriction under the Leahy Law but the vast majority of the support U.S. provides will be given regardless of the restrictions,’’ he said.
Mr. Issah, who led a delegation from the U.S. congress judicial committee to the meeting with Nigeria’s top ranking defence officials further said.
“We are looking forward to working with the president and the military to rebuild the confidence of the people of Nigeria in the professionalism of the military.
“To make the military something that the people will rely on as the nation tries to clear insurgents and protect the civilians; that are important to the new president of Nigeria, our president and it is also important to the congress.
“But we are looking forward to a great difference in the relationship, a proactive relationship and one in which we can provide a greater level of support,’’ he stated.
The Leahy Law prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defence from providing military assistance to foreign military units that allegedly violates human rights with impunity.