EFCC wants attorney-general to submit formal extradition request to Britain seeking Diezani's return

ECONOMIC and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) officials plan to ask the attorney-general of the federation Abubakar Malami to file a formal extradition request asking Britain to return former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke to the country.


Ms Madueke, 57, fled Nigeria after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the 2015 elections and has lived in Britain ever since. She had been arrested and charged with money laundering by the British authorities but is currently out on bail pending the resumption of her trial.


As part of its investigations, the EFCC has traced a fresh N47.2bn and $487.5m to the former minister in addition to about N23,446,300,000 and $5m that has been located in various Nigerian banks. So far the EFCC has managed to get one $37.5m Banana Island property owned by the ex-minister seized after Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the final forfeiture of the property.


More than 50 suspects in some of the cases linked with her have been arraigned in court, especially the alleged N23.29bn 2015 poll bribe. With the evidence against Ms Alison-Madueke now overwhelming, the EFCC review team believes it will be in the interest of justice to extradite the former minister to Nigeria for trial.


Some of the investigated allegations against the ex-Minister, with substantial evidence, include the following:


One EFCC source said:  “The EFCC has reached a convenient bend to request for the extradition of Diezani from the UK. Most of the cases against her have reached maturity level for her trial at home.


“The commission will formally approach the attorney-general of the federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami to assist it to invoke the extradition treaty between Nigeria and the UK against Diezani. Through the office of the attorney-general of the federation, appropriate charges will be filed in court to commence the process for the extradition of the ex-minister.”


However, Mallam Abubakar has the final say on whether or not to initiate the extradition process. So far, Ms Alison-Madueke has claimed that she acted on the instructions of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in directing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to release $1.3bn to the Office of National Security Adviser, adding that it was not within the power or discretion of any minister to question or disregard the written directive of a president.