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Court gives EFCC, DSS, Police 72hours to produce Diezani

EFCC Denies Dropping Corruption Charges Against Diezani
EFCC Denies Dropping Corruption Charges Against Diezani

Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo Abuja has on Tuesday 4th December 2018 ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Police Force and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and all order security agencies to apprehend and arrest former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison Madueke within 72hours.

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

The EFCC investigated the former Minister alongside Jide Omokore a former chairman of Atlantic energy drilling  Company , following a petition dated October 2013, from Coalition against corrupt leaders (CACOL) bordering on money laundering and official corruption.

Investigation into the petition reveals that Diezani Madueke as supervising Minister of the Nigeria National petroleum Corporations (NNPC) was found to have engaged in illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions which she entered on behalf of Government.

This new development is coming just a day after same court granted EFCC leave to arraign Diezani on February 25th 2019.

EFCC had reported on Monday that
an FCT High Court, Apo, on Monday, granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leave to arraign former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and a former Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling company, Olajide Omokore, on February 25.

Mrs Diezani  Alison-Madueke and Mr Omokore are to be arraigned on five counts bordering on conspiracy and illegal act of accepting and giving gratifications

The trial judge, Valentine Ashi, granted the EFCC leave, after the prosecution counsel, Faruk Abdullahi, told the court that while investigations were ongoing, the former minister left the country and is currently in the UK.

Justice Ashi also ordered the EFCC to put its house in order.

The suspects are to be arraigned for allegedly accepting and giving a gift of properties described as penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and penthouse 21, building 5, block C, Banana Island, Lagos.

The EFCC said the alleged offence contravened the provisions of Sections 26(1) and 17 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The prosecutor, Faruk Abdullahi, told the court that while investigations were ongoing, the former minister left the country and is currently in the United Kingdom.

He also said that upon invitation by the EFCC, Mrs Alison-Madueke refused to honour the invitation. He said there is a process in place to ensure she comes back to face trial.

The counsel to the second defendant, Tayo Adeniyo, told the court that his client was not served with the charges and his client was ready to clear his name.

News Agency of Nigeria  reports that on November 11, the EFCC confirmed that the process to bring back a former Minister of Petroleum, Alison-Madueke, from the United Kingdom has begun.

The acting spokesman of the commission, Tony Orilade, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

According to Mr Orilade, EFCC’s Operations Department had made a presentation to the Legal Department to commence the process, noting that the process has commenced.
He, however, said that the action had to be processed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, explaining that it was not something the commission could commence and conclude on its own.

“It is ongoing. Within the next few weeks, the extent to which we have gone will be made known to the public.

“It is not a fresh case; it is not a fresh petition that is just being looked into; the whole process is a total package.

“This request to have Mrs  Diezani Alison-Madueke repatriated to Nigeria is just an aspect of Diezani investigation and commencement of trial,” he said.

Court gives EFCC, DSS, Police 72hours to produce Diezani
Court gives EFCC, DSS, Police 72hours to produce Diezani

In 2017, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of N7.6 billion alleged loot recovered from the former minister to the federal government.

Justice Abdulazeez Anka granted an application by the EFCC seeking the final forfeiture of the money to the government.

Granting the application, the judge had said: “I have read the motion on notice seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N7.6bn reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.
“I have also gone through the affidavit in support of the application.

“In the circumstances, I am of the view that the application has merit and is hereby granted as prayed. Parties have a right of appeal.”

In October 2017, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had said that Nigeria had no immediate plan to bring Mrs Alison-Madueke back home to face trial.

Mrs Alison-Madueke, who is being investigated in the UK, had urged the federal government to have her repatriated to Nigeria to face corruption charges against her.

(NAN).

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