Alleged Money Laundering: Court Fixes Date To Hear Diezani’s Application

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed a date to hear an application filed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Mrs Alison-Madueke is seeking to be joined as a defendant in the fraud charge slammed on a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore, and a former Minister of Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

She wants the court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to bring her back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom where she has been since 2015, to put up her defence in the case.

Giving his ruling on Wednesday in Lagos, Justice Mohammed Aikawa fixed October 30 to hear the application.

The EFCC had in an amended five-count named the former petroleum minister as a culprit in the criminal trial of Belgore and Sulaiman over an alleged N500 million fraud.

The anti-graft agency had claimed that the sum was part of the $115 million which the former minister allegedly doled out to compromise the 2015 general elections.

Efforts by Diezani’s lawyer, Obinna Onya, to move the application which he claimed was brought pursuant to Section 36(1), (5), (6) (a)-(e) of the Constitution, and Sections 216 (1) (2) (3) (4); and 217 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, was on Tuesday turned down by Justice Aikawa on the ground that he had not served all parties in the matter.

The judge said he could only hear the application after all parties have been properly served.

Onya had also argued that contrary to the declaration by the EFCC that Diezani was at large, the former minister was in the UK and was willing to return to Nigeria so that she could appear in court to take her plea and defend the charges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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