Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Alleged N500m fraud: Court dismisses Diezani’s application for trial in Nigeria

A Federal High court sitting in Lagos state has rejected an application by embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to appear before it as a defendant in a money laundering trial.

 The former Petroleum Minister sought to be joined in the money laundering suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Mohammed Belgore, a senior advocate of Nigeria, and Abubakar Suleiman, a former minister of national planning. The former minister, who is currently in the UK, had asked the court to include her as a defendant in the four counts in which she is mentioned.
Dieziani in her application, had also asked the court to issue an order to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to facilitate her return to the country for the case.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa today heard her application and afterward dismissed it on grounds that it would amount to the misuse of court processes. According to the judge, the former Minister has an ongoing trial in the UK which she must face, adding that he would not be used to obstruct her UK trial.
'This is not the proper time to join the applicant as a defendant. The applicant has aroused my curiosity as to why she waited this long before coming up with the application for joinder. The court lacks the power to interfere with the powers of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF). The application for joinder is lacking in merit and same is hereby dismissed.” he said

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