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FG begins extradition proceedings against Diezani

•UK court arraigns ex-minister, slams £70,000 bail


By Chinelo Obogo and Fred Itua, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, said it had obtained an arrest warrant and has also commenced extradition proceedings against former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The anti-graft agency said it was happy with her arraignment at the Westminister’s Court in London, United Kingdom, following alleged bribery allegations.

The district judge, Micheal Snow, granted her 70,000 pounds bail, describing her as a ‘flight risk.’

Other conditions imposed on her are 11pm to 6am curfew and an electronic tag that she must wear at all times.

Britain’s  NCA alleged that Madueke accepted bribes during her time as minister of Petroleum Resources in exchange for awarding multi-million dollar oil and gas contracts.

Prosecutors alleged that she accepted $100,000 in cash, access to multiple number of homes, luxury holidays and private flights. They also allege she accepted goods from high end stores like Cartier and Louis Vuitton. She has been on bail in London since she was arrested in 2015.

The allegations by the prosecutor include collection of rewards like furniture, renovation work and staff for her properties and payment of private school fees.

She has denied all corruption charges. Her next appearance will be at Southwark Crown Court on October 30.


Acting EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, in a statement in Abuja, said: “To bring the former minister to trial in Nigeria, an arrest warrant has been obtained and extradition proceedings have been initiated. The Commission is on course on her trial. She will soon have her day in our courts.”

He said though 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.”

He said 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.”

Madueke was the first female to hold the position of the chairperson of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and her arraignment followed years of investigation by Britain’s National Crime Agency and Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Evidence in the case is expected to shed further light on the alleged corrupt practices over a period of five years.

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