Diezani gate: EFCC obtains warrant to extradite her to Nigeria

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) says it has obtained an arrest warrant to extradite former Nigeria’s petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke to the country to face corruption charges.

Armed with the warrant, EFCC said it has initiated extradition proceedings against the former minister.

Dele Oyewale , Acting Head, Media and Publicity of the commission stated this in a statement on Monday.

“No crime can go unpunished. The money laundering charges for which Madueke is answerable to the EFCC, cover jurisdictions in Dubai, United Kingdom, United States of America and Nigeria.

“The Commission is on course on her trial. She will soon have her day in our courts,” the statement said.

EFCC then said the arraignment of Diezani in a London court in Minday is a welcomed development.

” The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, welcomes, with keen interest, the arraignment of a former Minister of petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke at the Westminister’s Court in London, United Kingdom, following alleged bribery allegations.

“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,” it said.

It will be recalled that the
former Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, was charged in a UK court with bribery offenses following an investigation by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

Diezani, who currently lives in St John’s Wood, London, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday morning.

NCA leads the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime, protecting the public by targeting and pursuing criminals who pose the greatest risk to the UK.

Diezani, 63, who also served as president of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), during former President GoodLuck Jonathan administration of 2010 to 2015, is alleged to have accepted bribes during her tenure in exchange for awarding multi-million pound oil and gas contracts.

The charges detail various financial rewards, including cash, luxury holidays, private jet flights, and more.

Assets worth millions of pounds linked to the alleged offenses have already been frozen.

This is part of an ongoing international investigation into corruption allegations.

She was alleged to have benefitted from at least £100,000 in cash, chauffeur driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.

Her charges also detailed financial rewards, including furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods.

On August 22, the Head of the NCA’s International Corruption Unit (ICU), Andy Kelly, said: “We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million pound contracts.

“These charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation.

“Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries.

“We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat.”

Assets worth millions of pounds relating to the alleged offences have already been frozen as part of the ongoing investigation.

In March this year, the NCA also provided evidence to the US Department of Justice that enabled them to recover assets totalling USD$53.1m linked to Diezani Alison-Madueke’s alleged corruption.

ICU officers have also worked closely with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria during the investigation, as well as the with the NCA-hosted International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre.

The IACCC brings together specialist anti-corruption investigators from agencies around the world to tackle allegations of corruption involving politically exposed people. It is currently working in 37 different jurisdictions.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS, Andrew Penhale, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the NCA to charge Diezani Alison-Madueke with bribery offences.

“The CPS made the decision to authorise the charge after reviewing a file of evidence from the NCA relating to allegations of bribery in Nigeria.

“Criminal proceedings against Ms Alison-Madueke are active and she has the right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.

“The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a criminal court to consider.”

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