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EFCC given till March 3 to present Diezani in court

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request for more time to produce a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to face her money laundering charges. 

 The judge had on July 24, 2020, issued criminal summons against the ex-minster to show up in court to confront preliminary. 

Yet, Diezani, who is assumed to have left the nation for the United Kingdom not long after leaving office in May 2015, had refused to heed to the summons. 

Due to the failure of Diezani honoring the summons, the EFCC on October 28, 2020 adjure the court to give a warrant for her capture. 

But the request was declined by the judge, with refence to commission's inability to authorize and enforce the criminal summons she had earlier issued against the litigant. 

She said the criminal summons should be adequate for the commission to deal with her extradition to Nigeria to face the panel.

On Thursday, EFCC's prosecutor, Farouk Abdullah, requested for more time to allow the anti-graft agency to enforce the summons issued against the former minister. 

Abdullah said, “The prosecutions has taken steps to ensure that the orders are complied with. That has not come to fruition yet, but steps have been taken. 

“In view of this, may I humbly apply that this matter be adjourned to enable the prosecution comply fully with the order of the court.” 

The judge then adjourned the matter till March 3 for report of prosecution’s effort to produce the defendant in court and for possible arraignment. 

The commission on November 11, 2018, filed the 13 counts of money laundering to justify the bid to have Diezani extradited to Nigeria. 

Diezani was accused of among others in the charges that she unlawfully took into her possession, the sums of sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn when she reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities. 

 She was said to have purchased choice landed assets with the money using different fronts as the owners.

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