Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, rejected the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request to issue a warrant of arrest towards a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Alison-Madueke, who has been declared wanted by the EFCC for alleged cash laundering, fled to the UK in 2015.
At Wednesday’s continuing, the judge rejected the EFCC’s request for an arrest warrant over commission’s failure to implement the earlier criminal summons the court issued on the previous minister in July last 12 months.
Following the conclusion that Alison-Madueke wouldn’t honour the summons, the anti-graft company by way of its lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest towards the ex-minister.
Nevertheless, the judge insisted that the prison summons which the court issued on Alison-Madueke in 2019 had been enough for the commission to process her extradition to Nigeria to face her trial.
Though Justice Ojukwu expressed willingness to present the extradition bid a chance to survive, she demanded an affidavit with proof from the Office of the Lawyer-Common of the Federation to show that there was a necessity for the arrest warrant to be issued towards the flamboyant ex-minister.
She stated: “It’s my view that the summons ought to have assisted within the extradition of the defendant by the Office of the AGF.
“Today, the defendant is just not in court and no reason was given.
“I’m being knowledgeable that the defendant is believed to be in the UK.
“The learned counsel additionally knowledgeable the court that the extradition course of has failed because of the absence of the warrant of arrest.
“But when that’s the case, discovered counsel ought to file an affidavit to that impact supported by proof from the Workplace of the Lawyer Common of the Federation.
“I hereby offer you time to place your house so as.”
She adjourned the matter until December 3 for the report and possible arraignment of the defendant.