Nigeria's former oil minister blasted over court bid

2017-11-01 21:12


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - A Nigerian judge on Wednesday accused the country's former oil minister of trying to "avoid justice" in Britain, as he dismissed an application for her to face corruption charges back home.

Judge Rilwan Aikawa told the Federal High Court in Lagos that an attempt by Diezani Alison-Madueke's lawyers to add her name to a fraud case he was hearing was an abuse of process.

"The action of Diezani is to avoid justice in the United Kingdom. On the whole I found the application to be lacking in merit and accordingly dismissed," he ruled.

Alison-Madueke was one of Africa's highest-profile female politicians, having served under former president Goodluck Jonathan and been the first female president of OPEC.

She has been on bail in London since her arrest in October 2015 as part of a British investigation into corruption and money laundering.

Since then Alison-Madueke, 56, has been part of a number of separate corruption and asset-recovery cases in Nigeria, Italy and the United States.

She has always denied claims that billions of dollars were syphoned from oil deals and state accounts.

In recent months, property worth millions of dollars has been seized in Nigeria, while a British judge has frozen houses linked to the former minister in exclusive areas of London.

Wednesday's case was unusual in that her lawyers sought to have her extradited, charged and tried alongside two other defendants in a $1.4m fraud case.

Onyechi Ikpeazu tried to justify the move because his client was named as an accomplice in the four-count charge faced by two defendants, one of whom is a former planning minister.

"I know that she will be happy to come and face the trial," he said.

Prosecutor Rotimi Oyedeop said Alison-Madueke could still be charged and tried if and when she returned to Nigeria at a later date.

President Muhammadu Buhari has embarked on a wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign since coming to power in 2015, which has seen several top politicians arrested.

Read more on:    opec  |  muhammadu buhari  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.