Politics

Judge threatens to strike out money laundering case against Diezani if EFCC fails to extradite her from the UK

Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an ultimatum to extradite Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, to Nigeria.

The judge gave March 10, 2020 deadline to the EFCC to ensure the Diezani is brought back home.

EFCC had accused the former Minister of Petroleum of money laundering and filed 13-counts charge for unlawfully taking $39.7million and N3.32billion during her time in office.

According to the EFCC, Diezani used the illegal proceed to buy properties in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Some of these properties had already been seized by the anti-graft.

On Tuesday however, Justice Ojukwu threatened to strike out the money laundering case against Mrs. Diezani if the EFCC fail to produce her in court by March 2020.

Faruk Abdullahi, the EFCC counsel, asked the judge to suspend the case indefinitely because the anti-graft was having challenges in its efforts to extradite Diezani from the United Kingdom where she had stayed since the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari into office in 2015.

The EFCC consequently asked the judge to adjourned the case indefinitely so that it would not continue to clog the court’s docket. However, Justice Ojukwu in her response said; “My docket is not going to be a waiting room for the prosecution. I will give you one more adjournment. If nothing happens on the next date, I will strike it out.”

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