A federal high court in Lagos presided over by Justice Rilwan Aikawa has rejected an application by former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, seeking to be extradited back to Nigeria in order to appear before it as a defendant in a money laundering trial.
What’s happening?: Diezani was seeking to be joined in a N500 million suit against Dele Belgore SAN and a former Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Suleman. She filed an application praying the court to join her as a defendant in the suit and order the Attorney General of the Federation to extradite her from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria to face the charges.
Her argument is that since she is mentioned several times in the suit, it was only proper for her to be given fair hearing and allowed to come and defend herself.
The ruling: Justice Aikawa however agreed with the EFCC which argued that granting Diezani’s application will amount to a miscarriage of justice. The judge rejected the application, saying it is a “misuse of court processes”.
Aikawa said that he will not be used to obstruct the former minister’s trial in the UK where she is being prosecuted for alleged fraud.
Why this matters? This is the second case in which Diezani has attempted to force the hands of the court to order her extradition. Two months ago, she also attempted same with a case involving a former ally of hers, Jide Omokore. That application was also rejected.
There is wide belief that Diezani is getting increasingly worried about her chances in UK courts compared to Nigerian ones.