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EFCC Begins Diezani’s Extradition Process, Gets Arrest Warrant | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Oct 3, 2023

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has obtained an arrest warrant as it begins the extradition process of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria, to face the 13-count charges bordering on money laundering levelled against her by the anti-graft agency.
The commission further revealed that the money laundering charges for which Alison-Madueke is answerable to the EFCC cover jurisdictions in Dubai – the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Nigeria.
The PUNCH reports that the former minister appeared before the Westminster Magistrates Court in London over an alleged £100,000 bribe.
The district judge, Michael Snow, granted Alison-Madueke a £70,000 bail and further imposed other terms on the former minister including an 11 pm to 6 am curfew, an electronic tag to be worn by her at all times and a £70,000 surety to be paid before she could leave the court building.
The PUNCH reports that in August, the UK’s National Crime Agency said it suspected Alison-Madueke had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.
A Federal Government source, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, revealed that an informal interagency collaboration between the EFCC and the UK’s NCA led to the ongoing trial of Alison-Madueke at the Westminster Magistrates Court in London.
Diezani was the Minister of Petroleum Resources from 2010 to 2015 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Shortly before Jonathan handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, she left the country.
The EFCC alleged that the former minister stole $2.5 billion from the Nigerian government while she was a minister.
In a correspondence obtained by our correspondent on Monday, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, while welcoming Allison-Madueke’s arraignment in the UK, said the EFCC in its bid to bring the former minister to trial in Nigeria, had obtained an arrest warrant and initiated extradition proceedings.
Oyewale said, “The EFCC welcomes, with keen interest, the arraignment of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, at the Westminister’s Court in London, United Kingdom, following alleged bribery allegations.
“Although the charges preferred against her at the London court are diametrically different from the 13-count charges bordering on money laundering the EFCC has raised against her, it is instructive to note that criminality is criminality, irrespective of jurisdictional differences. No crime can go unpunished. The money laundering charges for which Madueke is answerable to the EFCC, cover jurisdictions in Dubai, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Nigeria.
“To bring the former minister to trial in Nigeria, an arrest warrant has been obtained and extradition proceedings have been initiated. The Commission is on course on her trial. She will soon have her day in our courts.”
Earlier in a statement published on its website, the NCA said Diezani “is alleged to have benefitted from at least £100,000 in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.
Her charges also detail financial rewards including furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods.”
In March 2023, the NCA also provided evidence to the US Department of Justice that enabled them to recover assets totalling USD $53.1 million linked to Diezani’s alleged corruption.
Head of the NCA’s international corruption unit, Andy Kelly, said the “charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation. Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat.”

 

 

 

By Abiodun Sanusi

 

 

 

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