The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in the Apo area of Abuja has ordered the arrest of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
In a ruling on Tuesday, Justice Valentine Ashi ordered the police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), and others to produce Diezani in court within 72 hours.
According to a statement by the acting EFCC spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, the order was made following an ex parte motion made before the court by the counsel to the anti-graft agency, Msuur Denga.
Denga prayed for an order of the court to issue a warrant of arrest against Diezani, to enable the commission apprehend and arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria.
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“The Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the EFCC, the Attorney General, the Department of State Services (DSS), are hereby ordered in the name of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, to apprehend and arrest the first defendant and produce her before this court for further directives within 72 hours,” the quoted the judge as saying.
The former minister is to stand trial alongside Mr Jide Omokore, following a petition dated October 2, 2013, by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders on allegations bordering money laundering and official corruption.
Diezani and Omokore were said to have engaged in illicit and fraudulent dealings in oil transactions.
They were also alleged to have accepted and given gifts in properties located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi; and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island – both in Lagos.
The former minister and the other defendant will be arraigned on February 25, 2019, on five counts.
The will be charged for offences that are contrary to sections 26(1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
Meanwhile, EFCC acting chairman Ibrahim Magu was engaged in an interactive session with media practitioners and members of the Civil Society in Lagos.
At the session, he called on the United Kingdom to extradite Nigerians who allegedly looted the country’s commonwealth but hiding in the UK, especially the former petroleum minister.
Mage revealed that the EFCC has secured a number of temporary and permanent forfeiture of property and various sums of money unlawfully acquired by persons of questionable character.
According to him, the most recent was the final forfeiture of N1.9bn from a commercial bank to the Federal Government.