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A Federal High Court in Abuja has issued an arrest warrant against former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The Presiding Judge Bolaji Olajuwon made the order on Monday following an oral application made by Farouk Abdullah, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
EFCC said its investigations revealed that the ex-Minister who is facing several money-laundering allegations, has remained in her hideout in the UK and refused to return to the country to enter her plea to charges against her.
Abdullah told the court that all efforts by the agency to get the ex-Minister extradited proved abortive.
He stressed that the warrant would enable the EFCC to persuade the International Police (INTERPOL) to arrest Diezani and also help the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to facilitate her extradition.
“We urge my lord 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 this court to answer to the allegation made against her,” EFCC’s lawyer added.
EFCC anchored the application on section 83(1b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
After he had listened to the application, Justice Olajuwon granted it as prayed, even as he adjourned the case sine die (indefinitely) to await the arrest and extradition of the Defendant.
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EFCC had told the court that investigations revealed that the former Petroleum Minister was not only deeply involved in money laundering but equally played key roles in other financial crimes.
It decried that since the ex-Minister fled the country immediately after she exited the office, it has been difficult to get her back to respond to different criminal allegations against her.
In one of the documents it filed before the court, EFCC said Diezani was among other things, wanted over the alleged role she played in the award of Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) to; Septa Energy Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited by NNPC.
As well as to answer questions on her role in the chartering of private jets by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Ministry of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of contracts by NNPC to Marine and Logistics Services Limited.
Besides, the agency said it was investigating the nature of business relationships the former Minister had with some persons.
It listed some of Diezani’s alleged allies under investigation as Mr Donald Amamgbo, Mr. lgho Sanomi, 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.
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