The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the initiation of extradition proceedings against Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former minister of petroleum resources. This action comes after the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed suspicions of Alison-Madueke accepting bribes for the awarding of lucrative oil and gas contracts. In a significant development, the former minister was arraigned at the Westminster Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom (UK) for an alleged £100,000 bribe, with bail set at £70,000 due to concerns over her potential to flee.
The EFCC has expressed its appreciation for the arraignment of the former petroleum minister in the UK, as it continues to investigate her for allegations of bribery and money laundering within Nigeria. Alison-Madueke had relocated to the UK shortly before the handover from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. The EFCC had previously accused her of embezzling $2.5 billion from Nigeria’s coffers during her tenure, although she vehemently denies all charges against her.
Dele Oyewale, spokesperson for the EFCC, emphasized that “criminality is criminality” regardless of jurisdiction. He noted that while the charges brought against Alison-Madueke in the London court differ from the 13-count charges of money laundering by the EFCC, it is crucial to recognize that no crime should go unpunished. The money laundering charges against the former minister span multiple jurisdictions including Dubai, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Nigeria.
The EFCC has obtained an arrest warrant and initiated extradition proceedings in order to bring Alison-Madueke to trial in Nigeria. The commission remains committed to pursuing justice and ensuring that she faces the appropriate legal consequences for her alleged crimes. Soon, Alison-Madueke will have her day in court within Nigerian jurisdiction.