Produce Diezani In 72 Hours, Court Orders EFCC, DSS

Court Orders EFCC, DSS To Produce Diezani In 72 Hours

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to produce a former minister of petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke, within 72 hours.

Justice Valentine Ashi gave the order to all the security agencies to apprehend and arrest the former minister within 72 hours on Tuesday.

The order was made, following a motion ex parte moved by counsel to the EFCC, Msuur Denga, praying for an order of the court, to issue a warrant of arrest against the former minister, to enable the anti-graft agency to apprehend and arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria.

Concise News reports that Alison-Madueke, who is based in the United Kingdom, is facing a probe by the EFCC, with the anti-graft agency beginning to explore the possibility of extraditing her to Nigeria.

The Commission investigated the former minister along with Jide Omokore, a former Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, following a petition dated October 2, 2013, from Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, bordering on money laundering and official corruption.

Investigations into the petition revealed that Alison-Madueke engaged in illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions as supervising minister of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). She entered the transactions on behalf of the Federal Government.

The former minister and Omokore, are also 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.

When the matter came up on December 3, 2018, the EFCC  filed an application for a warrant of arrest, a condition precedent for former minister’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trial.

The prosecution told the court that Alison-Madueke, who is currently in London, jetted out of the country while investigations into the alleged fraudulent acts were ongoing.

At the resumption of proceedings today, the court granted the ex parte motion and ordered the security agencies to provide Madueke within 72 hours, for her to face the charge preferred against her.

“The Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the EFCC, the Attorney General, the Department of State Services, are hereby ordered in the name of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to apprehend and arrest the first defendant and produce her before this court for further directives within 72 hours”, Justice Ashi ruled.

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