A Federal High Court in Abuja has issued an arrest warrant against the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, believed to be residing in the United Kingdom.
Court Orders Arrest Of Diezani Alison-Madueke
Justice Bolaji Olajuwon granted the request on Monday, January 24, 2022, following an oral application by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Farouk Abdullah.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had fixed Nov. 3, 2021, for the EFCC to give a report on its effort at extraditing Alison-Madueke to the country to stand her trial, and for possible mention of the case.
But on the adjourned date, the case was stalled as neither Abdullah nor Alison-Madueke was in sight. Justice Olajuwon then fixed today, Jan. 24, for the matter and adjourned for report or or for possible mention of the matter.
NAN reports that though Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu was initially the presiding judge in the matter, the case was reassigned to Justice Olajuwon, following the transfer of Ojukwu to the Calabar division of the court.
It would be recalled that Ojukwu had, on Oct. 28, 2020, rejected the EFCC’s prayer to issue a warrant of arrest against Alison-Madueke, citing the commission’s failure to enforce the earlier criminal summons, which the court issued on the former minister since July 24, 2020, saying court orders are not made in vain.
The commission had, in requesting for the criminal summons in July 2020, claimed that it was required to facilitate the ex-minister’s extradition to Nigeria.
Faced with the failure of the ex-minister to honour the summons, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest against her, saying that the extradition process failed as a result of the absence of the warrant of arrest.
The judge, who turned down the request, directed the lawyer to file an affidavit to that effect supported by evidence from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and adjourned for report and possible arraignment of the defendant (Alison-Madueke).
Arrest Warrant Needed For Diezani’s Extradition
However, when the matter was called on Monday, Abdullah was in court. He told the court that all efforts by the agency to get the ex-minister extradited when the matter was before Ojukwu were unsuccessful. Abdullah, who made an oral application for an arrest warrant, said the application was part of the requirements by the office of the AGF for the extradition.
He said 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.
Abdullahi, in an application, urged the court “to issue an arrest warrant against Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be in the UK to enable all law enforcement agencies and the INTERPOL to arrest her anywhere she is sighted and be brought before the court to answer to the allegation made against her before the court.”
Justice Olajuwon then granted the application and adjourned the matter sine die pending when the defendant (Alison-Madueke) is arrested and produced in court.
KanyiDaily had reported how the EFCC recovered $153m and 80 choice property valued at $80m from Diezani Alison-Madueke after she fled to London since leaving office in 2015.