EFCC Intensifies Efforts To Return Diezani From UK

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has confirmed that the process of extraditing former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to Nigeria from the United Kingdom has begun.

Acting spokesman for the commission, Mr Tony Orilade, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.

There have been calls from different quarters for the extradition of the former minister to the country over the allegations of impropriety levelled against her.

According to Orilade, the EFCC’s Operations Department has made a presentation to the Legal Department to commence the process.

He, however, said the extradition 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. Orilade said, “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 Diezani’s investigation and commencement of trial.”

In 2017, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of N7.6bn 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 said, “I have read the motion on notice seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N7.6bn 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, said Nigeria had no immediate plans to bring Alison-Madueke back home to face trial.

Alison-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 Malami said bringing her back to the country would jeopardise the investigation being carried on her in the UK.

He said, “Steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bordering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians.

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

“As things stand now, there is no need for that since the UK is already investigating her.’’