A Federal High Court Judge gave what appears to be a tall order to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Police Force to produce within 72 hours, Diezani Alison-Madueke, former petroleum minister.
Diezani is based in London, facing a probe by an anti-graft agency and the EFCC only recently began to explore the possibility of extraditing her to Nigeria.
Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, on December 4, 2018, perhaps oblivious of this, ordered all the security agencies to apprehend and arrest Diezani within 72 hours.
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 Madueke, to enable the Commission apprehend and arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria.
The EFCC 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 Madueke as supervising minister of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, was found to have engaged in illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions, which she entered into on behalf of the Federal Government.
Madueke 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 Commission filed an application for warrant of arrest, condition precedent for Deziani’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trail.
The prosecution told the court that Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, jetted out of the country while investigations into the alleged fraudulent acts were ongoing.
The court today, 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”, the judge held.