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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Produce Diezani within 72 hours, court orders EFCC, others

Produce Diezani within 72 hours, court orders EFCC, others

Diezani Alison-Madueke

The process of the extradition of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has commenced, following an order by an FCT High Court in Apo that the former minister be arrested.

Justice Valentine Ashi on Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of States Services and all other security agencies to apprehend and arrest Diezani within 72 hours.

The order was made following a motion ex parte made before the court by counsel for the EFCC, Msuur Denga, praying for an order of the court, to issue a warrant of arrest against Madueke, to enable the Commission apprehend and arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria.

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The EFCC investigated the former minister along with Jide Omokore, a former Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, following a petition dated October 2, 2013, from Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders bordering on money laundering and official corruption.

Investigations into the petition revealed that Madueke, as supervising minister of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, was found to have engaged in illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions, which she entered into on behalf of the Federal Government.

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Madueke and Omokore are also alleged to have accepted and given gifts in properties located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi; and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island, Lagos.

They are to be arraigned on February 25, 2019 on five charges for the offences, which are contrary to Section 26(1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Recall that when the matter came up on December 3, 2018, the Commission, however, filed application for warrant of arrest, condition precedent for Diezani’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trial.

The prosecution told the court that Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, left the country while investigations into the alleged fraudulent acts were ongoing.

The EFCC said in a statement by its acting spokesman, Mr. Tony Orilade, that the court granted the ex parte motion, and ordered the security agencies to provide Madueke within 72 hours, for her to face the charge preferred against her.

“The Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the EFCC, the Attorney General, the Department of State Services, are hereby ordered in the name of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to apprehend and arrest the first defendant and produce her before this court for further directives within 72 hours,” the judge ordered.

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