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UK already prosecuting Diezani, Attorney General forecloses her extradition

The federal government has no plans to bring the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke back to Nigeria to face corruption charges. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said.

 

Speaking to State House correspondents in Hausa, Malami said the federal government does not deem it fit to bring the former minister back to the country as a mere witness.

 

“The truth of the matter is that 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 are now, there is no need for that since the UK Government is already investigating her and the Nigerian government will not take any decision that will jeopardise what the UK government is doing,” he said.

 

The minister said it was wrong to say that the government was not doing anything on the matter, considering the fact that there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries, especially UK, on the recovery of stolen funds.

 

When asked if Alison-Madueke can get fair hearing in Nigeria, the minister said: “Well, the issue is not about fair hearing now. We are talking about investigation first and it is not within Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke powers to ask the Federal Government to bring her to testify in any case in Nigeria.

 

“Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke is facing charges of money laundering and acquisition of properties in United Kingdom. So, it is important to face the charges there than for her to come as a mere witness in a case in Nigeria.”

 

Alison-Madueke had urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the Attorney General of the Federation to bring her back to Nigeria from the UK to serve as a witness in a case involving her allies.

 

The former Petroleum Minister said she would like to appear in court in Nigeria to defend a criminal charge on laundering of N450m where her name had been mentioned.

About Abdullahi M. Gulloma  Abuja