An Abuja Federal High Court on Wednesda rejected the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request to issue a warrant of arrest against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Dieziani is believed to be residing in the United Kingdom.
Presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, maintained that the EFCC failed to enforce an earlier criminal summons which the court issued on the former minister as far back as July 24, 2020.
The commission had obtained the criminal summons to enable it to facilitate Dieziani’s extradition to Nigeria.
At the continuation of the matter on Wednesday, EFCC lawyer, Mr Farouk Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest against Dieziani.
However, ruling on the request by EFCC, Justice Ojukwu noted that the criminal summons which the court issued on the former minister on July 24, 2019 ought to be sufficient for the commission to extradite her to Nigeria to face trial.
The judge demanded an affidavit with evidence from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (the office with exclusive power to facilitate extradition), to prove that there was a need for the arrest warrant to have Diezani extradited.
“It is my view that the summons should have assisted in the extradition of the defendant by the Office of the AGF. Today, the defendant is not in court and no reason was given.
“I am being informed that the defendant is believed to be in the United Kingdom. The learned counsel also informed the court that the extradition process has failed as a result of the absence of the warrant of arrest.
“But if that is the case, learned counsel shall file an affidavit to that effect supported by evidence from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“I hereby give you time to put your house in order.”
The case was adjourned till December 3 for report and possible arraignment of the defendant.
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