Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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Magu justifies Diezani extradition, says Nigeria will prosecute faster than UK

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tiamin rice

The chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Magu has shed light over the commission’s plan to extradite former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, from the UK, saying the trial of the former minister will be faster in Nigeria.

Responding to journalists questions during press conference at the commission’s headquarters to commemorate his three years in office, Mr Magu said for more than three years the UK is yet prosecute Mrs Alison-Modueke.

“Investigation can’t just go endlessly. So we have to begin the extradition process to bring her to justice here in Nigeria,” he said.

Acting spokesman of the commission, Tony Orilade, on Saturday said EFCC’s Operations Department has made presentation to the Legal Department to commence the process, and that 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 would 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 extradition is just an aspect of Deziani’s investigation and commencement of trial,” he said.

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 N7.6 billion 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 Allison-Madueke back home to face trial.

Mrs Allison-Madueke, who is being investigated in the UK, had urged the Federal Government to bring her back to the country to face corruption charges against her.

But, Mr Malami said that bringing her back to the country would jeopardise the investigation being carried on her in the UK.

“Steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians.

“If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that.

“As things stand now, there is no need for that since the UK Government is already investigating her,” he had said.

The EFCC spokesman could not, however, say the point at which it became necessary to seek extradition of the former minister.

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