A Federal High Court in Abuja has issued an arrest warrant against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Accused of corruption to the tune of billions of Naira, Diezani fled Nigeria for the UK after Muhammadu Buhari defeated Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.
On Monday, January 24, 2022, Justice Bolaji Olajuwon granted the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following an oral application from the anti-graft agency’s counsel Farouk Abdullah.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had fixed Nov. 3, 2021 for the EFCC to render a report on its effort at extraditing Alison-Madueke to Nigeria to stand trial.
But on the adjourned date, the case was stalled as neither Abdullah nor Alison-Madueke showed up.
Justice Olajuwon then fixed today, Jan. 24, for the matter and adjourned for a report or for possible mention of the matter.
Abdullah had, in an application, urged the court “to issue an arrest warrant against Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be in the UK, to enable all law enforcement agencies and the INTERPOL to arrest her anywhere she is sighted and be brought before the court to answer to the allegation made against her before the court.”
The EFCC is investigating Diezani’s business relationships with Mr. Donald Amamgbo, Mr Afam Nwokedi, Chief lkpea Leemon, Miss Olatimbo Bukola Ayinde, Mr Benedict Peters, Christopher Aire, Harcourt Adukeh, Julian Osula, Dauda Lawal, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Mr. Leno Laithan, Sahara Energy Group and Midwestern Oil Limited, among others.
Diezani is also required to clear the air on “her role in financing the 2015 general elections, particularly the money that was warehoused at Fidelity Bank Plc in 2015 prior to the elections.”
Diezani is also expected to clear the air on several items, documents and jewelries recovered from her house at No: 10, Chiluba Close, off Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and some property linked to her in Nigeria, UK, U.S., United Arab Emirates and South Africa.
EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had in the April 2021 edition of the agency’s in-house magazine, disclosed that the anti-corruption commission recovered $153 million from Diezani.
Bawa said the agency also recovered the final forfeiture of over 80 property in Nigeria valued at about $80 million from the former minister, who has been residing in the UK since fleeing Nigeria.
The EFCC boss said he would want the former minister to face trial in Nigeria.
Besides, as part of the ongoing investigations of the former Petroleum Minister, the EFCC. on Dec. 15, 2021, said it arrested a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, over an additional $72.87 million still in the coffers of the bank.