Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that it had taken steps to execute the summons issued to compel the appearance of the fleeing ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
EFCC’s lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, told the court, at the mention of a charge the commission filed against Diezani, that his agency was working on ways to ensure the full execution of the order made by the court.
The court made some orders on the last date that this matter came up.
“The prosecutions have taken steps to ensure that the orders are complied with, but that has not come to fruition yet. But steps have been taken.
“In view of this, may I humbly apply that this matter be adjourned to enable the prosecution comply fully with the orders of the court,” he said.
In view of Abdullah’s application, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned till March 3 next year for report of compliance with the orders or arraignment of the ex-minister.
The judge had, in July this year, acceded to the request made ex-parte by the EFCC for the issuance of summons on Diezani for her to attend court for the purpose of her arraignment on the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018.
To ensure that Diezani, said to have fled Nigeria for the United Kingdom was aware of the invitation, Justice Ojukwu ordered that the court’s summons be published on the website of the EFCC and a national daily in a conspicuous manner.
The judge however rejected a further request by the EFCC on October 28, this year for the issuance of an arrest against Diezani.
Justice Ojukwu noted that the EFCC failed to show before the court, with affidavit evidence, that the earlier summons issued failed to achieve its purpose despite the agency’s efforts.
The judge recalled that the EFCC had informed the court that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) indicated that the arrest warrant was needed to further give the international police (INTERPOL) the impetus to bring the defendant to Nigeria to answer to charges against her.
The judge directed the EFCC to put its house in order in its handling of the case because court orders were not made in vain.