Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has submitted a warrant of arrest and request to the Crown Prosecution Services of the United Kingdom for the immediate extradition of a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The request, made on the orders of President Bola Tinubu, followed a written official request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the office of the AGF earlier in October.
A top Federal Government source said that in making the extradition request, the office of the AGF cited Section 2 (2) of Nigeria’s Extradition Act, CAP E25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and the London Scheme of Extradition within the Commonwealth otherwise known as “The Scheme,” a multilateral treaty which governs extradition between the United Kingdom and Nigeria.
“The EFCC established a prima facie case against Allison-Madueke in a letter to the office of the AGF, after which a magistrate was ordered to issue a warrant of arrest. The certified true copy of the warrant of arrest was then attached to the extradition request written to the UK government by the AGF on the orders of the President,” the source told Punch.
However, it was further revealed that the delay in Allison-Madueke’s extradition to Nigeria from the UK was due to an ongoing internal review of the request by the UK authorities.
“It is true that the AGF has submitted a warrant of arrest and written to the UK government for Diezani’s extradition to Nigeria, but extradition processes are usually cumbersome as it is subject to the approval of the recipient country. Nigeria has made its request, but the UK has to subject it to their laws, and other international institutional bottlenecks that are in place in the UK,” another source said.
“So, it is the UK that’ll determine how fast Diezani will be returned to Nigeria,” he added.
Recall that the EFCC had on October 2 revealed that it had commenced extraditing Mrs Alison-Madueke from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria over 13-count charges bordering on money laundering levelled against her by the anti-graft agency.
The commission further revealed that the money laundering charges for which Alison-Madueke is answerable to the EFCC, covered jurisdictions in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Nigeria.
The former Minister appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Monday, over an alleged £100,000 bribe.
A Federal Government source who spoken on the condition of anonymity had revealed that an informal interagency collaboration between the EFCC and the UK’s NCA was part of what led to the ongoing trial of Alison-Madueke at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London.
The EFCC alleged that the former minister in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2010 to 2015 stole $2.5bn from the Nigerian government while she was a minister.
In January 2023, Alison-Madueke asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to vacate an order granted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for final forfeiture of her seized assets.
Also, on Saturday 27 May 2023, she instituted a suit against the EFCC and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation over what she termed a false and malicious attempt to “paint her as a common criminal”.
This was filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, with Suit No. CV/6273/2023, and signed by her legal representation led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN).