Nigeria submits formal warrant of arrest request to the UK demanding Diezani's extradition

NIGERIA'S attorney-general and justice minister Lateef Fagbemi has submitted a formal warrant of arrest request to the UK's Crown Prosecution Services demanding the extradition of former petroleum minister Diezani Allison-Madueke.


Since leaving office in 2015 and going into exile in the UK, Ms Alison-Madueke has been the subject of numerous investigations in Nigeria and internationally. She has been asked to forfeit UK properties worth over £11m and has been forced to surrender about N7.6bn ($17.4m) hidden in a Nigerian bank to the government.


In July 2019, Diezani had jewellery worth $40m, including a customised gold iPhone, seized from her after a Lagos federal high court ordered their forfeiture to the federal government. She appealed the decision, trying to get them returned to her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but lost the case at an appeal in October that year.


Last month, Ms Alison-Madueke  was arraigned before the a London high court charged with fresh bribery allegations in addition to the 13-counts bordering on money laundering that she is already facing. Now, Mr Fagbemi has requested her extradition, apparently on the orders of President Bola Tinubu following a written demand for it by the EFCC.


A government spokesman said: “The EFCC established a prima facie case against Allison-Madueke in a letter to the office of the attorney-general 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 attorney-general on the orders of the president.


“It is true that the attorney-general 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.


On October 2, the EFCC wrote to Mr Fagbemi, asking him to take action on this matter. It revealed that the money laundering charges for which Ms Alison-Madueke is answerable to the EFCC, covered jurisdictions in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, the United States of America and Nigeria.


Last month, Diezani appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, over an alleged £100,000 bribe. District judge, Michael Snow, granted her bail for a sum of £70,000 under terms which included an 11 pm to 6 am curfew, an electronic tag to be worn by her at all times and the sum of £70,000 to be paid before she could leave the court building.