Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on February 25, 2019, informed Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) High Court, sitting in Apo that it had written the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, SAN, in respect to the extradition of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, from the United Kingdom.
Diezani and Jide Omokore, a former Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, were supposed to be arraigned by the Commission on Monday, February 25, 2019, for offences bordering on conspiracy and illegal act of accepting and giving gratifications.
They are 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 a five-count charge for the offences, which are contrary to Sections 26(1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
In a statement by the anti graft agency, the Court had at its last sitting on December 4, 2018, ordered the EFCC and other security agencies, to ensure that Diezani was brought to court 72 hours after she returned to Nigeria, for her to face the fraud charges.
However, at Monday’s proceedings, prosecuting counsel, Faruk Abdullahi, informed the court that the Commission had written to the AGF, seeking for the extradition of Diezani.
He said: “The Commission has written the AGF, with a view for the extradition process so as to enable her face her trial, as she is still in the United Kingdom.”
He said the letter titled, Letter Of Request To Extradite Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke From The United Kingdom, was received by the office of the AGF on December 14, 2018.
It reads in part: “The Commission recently filed charges against Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke in both the Federal High Court (Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018) and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (Charge No. CR/22/2018). The latter case came up on December 4, 2018, wherein the presiding judge (Honourable Justice Valentine B. Ashi) issued a warrant for her arrest to enable the Commission apprehend and produce her to stand trial.
“In view of the foregoing, I humbly request the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), to make an extradition request to the relevant authority in the United Kingdom to initiate process of extraditing Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke back to Nigeria to stand trial”.
The prosecution further informed the court that Omokore will soon be served.
The case has been adjourned till May 22, for arraignment.