EFCC begins move to press for Diezani’s extradition

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded the  investigation of the former minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and is making moves to see to her extradition from London.

The EFCC is to approach attorney general of the federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami this week with a request to file charges against her based on its findings.

As part of its investigation, The Nation reports that the EFCC had traced N47.2 billion and $487.5million to the ex-minister, it was gathered.

Besides, about N23, 446,300,000 and $5 million (about N1.5billion) had been located in various Nigerian banks.

But only about $37.5 million Banana Island property has been finally forfeited by the ex-minister.

Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the final forfeiture of the property.

More than 50 suspects in some of the cases linked with her have been arraigned in court, especially the alleged N23.29billion 2015 poll bribe.

The EFCC review team felt it will be “in the interest of justice to extradite the ex-minister to Nigeria for trial”. She is believed to be in Britain.

Some of the investigated allegations against the ex-Minister, with substantial evidence, include release of $1.3b NNPC cash to the office of the national security adviser (ONSA) in 2014 to fight kidnapping in Niger Delta; whereabouts of $18.5billion earnings by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); $15.8billion NLNG dividends  between 2000 and 2014( especially about $9b component between 2010 and 2015); $1.7billion oil contracts involving Alison-Madueke and two business associates; N23.29b 2015 poll bribery scam; $37.5m property on Banana Island; and acquisition of many properties at home, in Britain, and in the UAE.

“The EFCC has reached a convenient bend to request for the extradition of Diezani from the UK. Most of the cases against her have reached maturity level for her trial at home.

“The commission will formally approach the attorney-general of the federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami( SAN) to assist it to invoke the extradition treaty between Nigeria and the UK against Diezani.

“Through the office of the AGF, appropriate charges will be filed in court to commence the process for the extradition of the ex-Minister.”

“The extradition process is without prejudice to the ongoing investigation of Diezani in the UK.

“The US end of Diezani probe has been done. The EFCC has also hauled evidence to the UK to assist the authorities. Some detectives from the UK have visited this country too.

“For the Nigerian flank of the probe, it is necessary to extradite Diezani to answer allegations against her,” said a source.

The source, however, added that the AGF has the final say on whether or not to initiate the extradition process. He stressed that all the allegations against the former minister are within the extradition treaty between Nigeria and the UK.

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