The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that it has begun the process for the extradition of Deziani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria's former Minister of Petroleum, from the United Kingdom.
Acting EFCC Spokesman, Tony Orilade, disclosed this in an interview with NAN in Abuja on Sunday.
According to Orilade, EFCC’s Operations Department has made a presentation to the Legal Department to commence the process, and it is already in progress.
However, he noted that the action had to be processed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, as it was not something the commission would commence and conclude on its own.
“It is ongoing. Within the next few weeks, the extent to which we have gone will be made known to the public," he said.
“It is not a fresh case; it is not a fresh petition that is just being looked into; the whole process is a total package. This extradition is just an aspect of Deziani’s investigation and commencement of trial."
The EFCC spokesman did not state the point at which it became necessary to seek the former minister's extradition.
In 2017, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of N7.6 billion alleged loot recovered from the former minister to the Federal Government. Justice Abdulazeez Anka granted an application by the EFCC seeking the final forfeiture of the money to the government.
Granting the application, the judge had said: “I have read the motion on notice seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N7.6 billion reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity. I have also gone through the affidavit in support of the application.
“In the circumstances, I am of the view that the application has merit and is hereby granted as prayed. Parties have a right of appeal.”
In October 2017, Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, had said Nigeria had no immediate plan to bring Allison-Madueke back home to face trial.
Allison-Madueke, who is being investigated in the UK, had urged the Federal Government to bring her back to the country to face corruption charges against her.
However, Malami said bringing her back to the country would jeopardise the investigation being carried on her in the UK.
“Steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians," Malami had said.
"If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that. As things stand now, there is no need for that since the UK Government is already investigating her."