The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has reacted to the demand made by embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dieziani Alison-Madueke, that she be extradited from the UK to Nigeria to face trial for the corruption charges that have been leveled against her by the EFCC.
Diezani made the demand at the hearing of a case against her at the Federal High court in Lagos yesterday October 3rd.
Malami in an interview with some newsmen in Abuja earlier today stated that the former minister will be repatriated to Nigeria when it is necessary. He noted that the former minister was already standing trial for corruption in the UK.
“The truth of the matter is that steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians. If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, the government will not hesitate to do that.” he said
Read excerpts from the interview below;
Former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, wants FG to bring her back to face (corruption) charges and the government is not saying anything. So, what is happening?
The truth of the matter is that the government is doing something, especially on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside the country. Considering the fact that there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries, especially the United Kingdom on the recovery of stolen funds, so you cannot say the government is not doing anything.
So are you going to ask them to release her to come for trial?
The truth of the matter is that steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians. 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 are now, there is no need for that since the UK government is already investigating her on … and government will not take any decision that will jeopardise what the UK government is doing.
Is she going to get a fair hearing here?
Well, the issue is not about fair hearing now; we are talking about investigation first and is not within Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke’s power to ask the Federal Government to bring her to testify in any case in Nigeria. Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke is facing charges of money laundering and acquisition of properties in the United Kingdom, so it is important to face the charges there than for her to come as a mere witness in a case in Nigeria.