Money Laundering: Court Gives EFCC Till March 3 To Bring Diezani Alison-Madueke To Court


Money Laundering : How We’re Repatriating Diezani To Face Trial – FGFederal High Court in Abuja has on Thursday granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request for more time to produce a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to face money laundering charges against her.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had on July 24, 2020, issued criminal summons against the ex-minster to appear in court to face trial.

However, Diezani, who is believed to have left the country for the United Kingdom shortly after leaving office in May 2015, had refused to heed to the summons.

Read Also: Extradition Of Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke Suffers Setback Over Dominican Republic Citizenship

Due to the ex-minister’s failure to honour the summons, EFCC through its counsel, Faruk Abdullah, on October 28, 2020 urged the court to issue a warrant for her arrest.

Nonetheless, the judge declined the request, citing the commission’s failure to enforce the criminal summons she had earlier issued against the defendant.

She said the criminal summons ought to be sufficient for the commission to process her extradition to Nigeria to face her trial.

Read Also: Nigerians React To EFCC Chief’s Appeal To Nigerians In Diaspora To Pressurise UK To Release Diezani Alison-Madueke For Trial

On Thursday, Abdullah, pleaded for more time to enable the anti-graft agency to enforce the summons issued against the former minister.

The counsel said;

The prosecutions has taken steps to ensure that the orders are complied with. 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 order of the court.

The judge then adjourned the matter till March 3 for report of prosecution’s effort to produce the defendant in court and for possible arraignment.

EFCC alleged that Diezani escaped the country shortly after her tenure as the Minister of Petroleum Resources caught wind of the plan to charge her with various offences.

Read Also: Embattled Former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison- Madueke Spotted At African Store In London

The commission on November 11, 2018, filed the 13 counts of money laundering to justify the bid to have her extradited to Nigeria.

Diezani was accused of among others in the charges that she unlawfully took into her possession, the sums of sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn.

She was said to have purchased choice landed assets with the money using different fronts as the owners.

The lawyer, in a document filed along with the motion ex-parte, said it sought to question Alison-Madueke, without success, in relation to many allegations against her, including;

Her role as the Minister of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) to Septa Energy Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited by NNPC.

He said it also wanted Alison-Madueke to respond to questions about;

Her role in the chartering of private jets by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ministry of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of contracts by NNPC to Marine and Logistics Services Limited.

The lawyer noted the agency was investigating Alison-Madueke’s business relationships with Mr Donald Amamgbo, Mr Afam Nwokedi, Chief lkpea Leemon, Miss Olatimbo Bukola Ayinde, Mr Benedict Peters, Christopher Aire, Harcourt Adukeh, Julian Osula, Dauda Lawal, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Mr Leno Laithan, Sahara Energy Group and Midwestern Oil Limited.

He added that Alison-Madueke was also required to clear air on;

Her role in financing the 2015 general elections, particularly the money that were warehoused at Fidelity Bank Plc in 2015 prior to the elections.

Abdullah said it equally wanted the ex-minister to speak on several items, documents and Jeweleries recovered from her house at;

No. 10, Chiluba Close, off Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and some identified property that were linked to her In Nigeria, UK, United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirate (UAE) and South Africa.

Credit: NAN.

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