…lauds her arraignment in UK court
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced extradition proceedings against former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria.
EFCC has also obtained an arrest warrant against the former minister.
Diezani’s extradition is being sought by the EFCC so that the former minister can answer for the 13-count charge of money laundering levelled against her by the anti-graft agency.
In August, the UK’s National Crime Agency said they suspected Alison-Madueke had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.
Earlier in the day, the former minister was arraigned at the Westminster Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom (UK) over the alleged £100,000 bribe.
Michael Snow, the district judge, granted Alison-Madueke bail in the sum of £70,000 but imposed other conditions after considering her “a flight risk”.
Reacting to the development, the EFCC said it welcomed the arraignment of the former petroleum minister in the UK.
The ex-minister is also being investigated over allegations of bribery and money laundering in Nigeria.
She relocated to the UK shortly before ex-President Goodluck Jonathan handed over to former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015
The EFCC had alleged that Alison-Madueke stole $2.5 billion from Nigeria’s coffers when she was a minister but she has denied all allegations levelled against her.
In a statement by Dele Oyewale, EFCC spokesperson, the commission noted that “criminality is criminality” irrespective of jurisdiction.
“Although the charges preferred against her at the London court are diametrically different from the 13-count charges bordering on money laundering the EFCC has raised against her, it is instructive to note that criminality is criminality, irrespective of jurisdictional differences. No crime can go unpunished,” the statement reads.
“The money laundering charges for which Madueke is answerable to the EFCC, cover jurisdictions in Dubai, United Kingdom, United States of America and Nigeria.
“To bring the former Minister to trial in Nigeria, an arrest warrant has been obtained and extradition proceedings have been initiated. The Commission is on course on her trial. She will soon have her day in our courts.”