Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, rejected the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request to issue a warrant of arrest against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Alison-Madueke, who has been declared wanted by the commission for alleged money laundering, fled to the United Kingdom in 2015.
At Wednesday’s proceeding, the judge rejected the EFCC’s request for an arrest warrant over commission’s failure to enforce the earlier criminal summons the court issued on the former minister in July last year.
Following the realization that Alison-Madueke would not honour the summons, the anti-graft agency through its lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest against the ex-minister.
However, the judge insisted that the criminal summons which the court issued on Alison-Madueke in 2019 were sufficient for the commission to process her extradition to Nigeria to face her trial.
Although Justice Ojukwu expressed willingness to give the extradition bid a chance to survive, she demanded an affidavit with evidence from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to prove that there was a need for the arrest warrant to be issued against the flamboyant ex-minister.
She said: “It is my view that the summons should have assisted in the extradition of the defendant by the Office of the AGF.
“Today, the defendant is not in court and no reason was given.
“I am being informed that the defendant is believed to be in the United Kingdom.
“The learned counsel also informed the court that the extradition process has failed as a result of the absence of the warrant of arrest.
“But if that is the case, learned counsel should file an affidavit to that effect supported by evidence from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“I hereby give you time to put your house in order.”
She adjourned the matter till December 3 for the report and possible arraignment of the defendant.