Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , Ibrahim Magu , has met with United Kingdom Government officials in London , in an effort to expedite the extradition of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources , Diezani Alison -Madueke to face trial in Nigeria .
Diezani , who served in ex -President Goodluck Jonathan ’ s administration , is expected to face trial for graft and money laundering running into billions of naira .
She had holed up in London for the past five years .
The British authorities claimed she was under probe for financial crimes and graft, but the EFCC had criticised the delay in the prosecution of the former official , prompting the Federal Government to file an extradition request.
Magu , Sunday PUNCH gathered , had secured assurances that Diezani would be extradited in the next one month, or latest by March .
Sources said that Magu was able to convince the British authorities to expedite action on the extradition request filed by the Attorney -General of the Federation , Abubakar Malami ( SAN ) .
“ The acting EFCC chairman has met with UK officials to expedite the process of extraditing Diezani . The investigation into the allegations against her by the UK government seemed to have stalled. It appears as if it was a ploy to keep her from facing justice in Nigeria . Magu is upbeat that the ex -minister would be repatriated to Nigeria latest by March , ” a source disclosed on Friday.
Similarly , the commission has submitted an arrest warrant to the International Police for the processing of the extradition of another former petroleum minister , Dan Etete , who is wanted by the EFCC for his involvement in the $ 1 . 1 bn Malabu oil scandal .
Our correspondent also gathered that the warrant was for the arrest and extradition of Munamuna Seidougha , and Joseph Amaran .
The arrest order was issued by Justice Abubakar Kutigi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Gwagwalada, on Thursday , based on an ex -parte application and affidavit brought by the EFCC .
The anti- graft agency said Etete , Seidougha , and Amaran were on the run in the 42 counts filed against the immediate-past Attorney -General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke ( SAN ) , and six others .
The anti -graft agency had preferred charges against the three suspects before the High Court over the $ 1 . 09 bn Malabu Oil Bloc ( OPL 245 ) Settlement Agreement
It alleged that Rasky Gbinigie , Munamuna Seidougha ( at large ) , Amaran Joseph sometime in 2013 , in Abuja “ dishonestly used as genuine the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani, which they then knew to be forged documents , to open a bank account No . 2018288005 to receive $ 401 . 5 m . ”
An ex parte application filed before the court by the EFCC legal team comprising Bala Sanga, Aliyu Yusuf , Offem Uket , M . S. Abubakar and H . S. Shehu, said the suspects reside in France .
The anti-graft agency claimed it had traced N47 . 2 bn and $ 487 . 5 m in cash and properties to Diezani who had continued to deny any financial misdeed . She insists she is being severely maligned and persecuted by the EFCC .
The EFCC , in the course of the investigation , also alleged it also traced real estate worth billions of Naira to the ex -minister , including a property valued at $ 37 . 5 m ( N11. 750 bn ) in Banana Island , Lagos .
She was said to have purchased the 15-storey building , which comprises 18 flats and six penthouses , between 2011 and 2012 from the developers , YF Construction and Real Estate .
The property was allegedly acquired in the name of a shell company, Rusimpex Limited , which is managed by one Afamefuna Nwokedim , Principal Partner , Stillwaters Law Firm , Lagos .
On August 7 , 2017 , Justice Chuka Obiozor , a vacation judge sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi , Lagos , ordered the final forfeiture of the Banana Island property .
The court had also ordered the final forfeiture of $ 2 . 7 m and N84 . 5 m , respectively found by the commission in Rusimpex dollars account No . 1013612486 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
The anti -graft commission also traced two apartments at the Bella Vista Court , Banana Island to Diezani . The penthouse apartments located on Block C- 5 , Flat 21, Plot 1 , Zone N. was allegedly purchased for $ 350 m by the ex -minister .
A court had on February 16, 2017 , ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government of a whopping sum of N34bn traced to the former minister .
Earlier in May 2016 , over $ 100 m was traced to the accounts of several Independent National Electoral Commission officials who were allegedly bribed by Diezani to compromise the 2015 general elections .
The Special Adviser ( Media ) to the EFCC chairman , Mr Tony Amokeodo , declined to comment , saying the commission would not disclose what it was doing to extradite the two ex -ministers for now. “ We would not disclose what we are doing for now, ” he said on Saturday .
But the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption , Prof . Itse Sagay ( SAN ) , confirmed that Etete ’ s arrest warrant had been served on Interpol, adding that it should not be difficult to extradite him to Nigeria having being earlier convicted by a French court .
He stated, “ I don ’ t think it should be too difficult to get Etete in France . So , they have his record and they know who he is and what he has done in the past . ”
Sagay described as good news the moves to bring back Diezani , saying , “ She wounded the country so badly . ”
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The PACAC Chairman noted , “ It is good news because justice has to be done . Diezani has wounded this country so badly , so she should have her day in court . It ’ s very strange that the UK has kept her for so long .
“ I have some direct knowledge of what was going on because I had some interaction with the British authorities and they said they were investigating her . This was in 2017 . It ’ s unlike the British and now, it is three years later , they have not concluded their investigation . I think there is a reluctance somewhere .
“ What this showed me is that no society is perfect. We always praise the British for the speed with which they always conclude their investigations and prosecute , but you can see that in this case, they have failed woefully. So , it ’ s a problem to me and I think Magu has done the right thing by insisting that she should be extradited . ”
Commenting on the planned repatriation of the ex -ministers , the Executive Secretary , Anti -Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative , Chief Dennis Aghanya , said it was overdue, adding that the FG must recover the stolen public funds and fast -track their prosecution.
He commended the AGF and the EFCC boss for the efforts to bring back the former officials , noting that if recovered , the funds allegedly looted by the ex -ministers could be spent on infrastructure development .