Embattled Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who disclosed that she will like to appear in court in Nigeria to defend criminal charges against her bordering on alleged laundering of N450m, urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the Attorney General of the Federation to bring her back to Nigeria from the U.K, where she traveled to shortly after leaving office in 2015.
The main defendants in the charge include a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Belgore; and a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, who were charged before Justice Rilwan Aikawa for allegedly collecting N450m from Diezani and laundering same in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
EFCC in their charge, alleged that the N450m was part of a sum of $115m, which Diezani allegedly doled out to compromise the 2015 general elections.
The embattled former Minister’s lawyer who appeared in court on Tuesday where Diezani’s name was mentioned, but was declared as being “at large”, acted in her interest, appearing before Justice Rilwan with an application seeking the joining of Diezani as one of the defendants in the charge as she’s willing to return to Nigeria, as he claimed it would be against her right to fair hearing, for the case to proceed without affording her the opportunity to defend herself. .
However he was opposed by EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who said the application was not ripe for hearing, as he had yet to be served.
Punch reports that Justice Aikawa said the court could not entertain the application, until all the parties had been properly served. Meanwhile, the trial proceeded with the second witness for the EFCC, Usman Zakari, continuing his testimony.