Why I want to return to Nigeria | Diezani tells court

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke has said she would like to return to Nigeria to defend corruption charges against her.

She urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to order the Attorney-General of the Federation to bring her back to Nigeria.

Background:

  • Diezani had been mentioned in a plethora of corruption cases since she left office in 2015.
  • The former minister is also being investigated by the United States of America and England for corruption charges.

The charge:

  • Diezani has been accused of laundering N450m, which she allegedly paid to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Belgore; and a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman.
  • The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claimed that the funds were part of $115m she allegedly doled out before the 2015 elections.

What she told the court:

  • She would like to appear in court to defend a criminal charge bordering on alleged laundering of N450m.
  • The SAN and the professor were arraigned on five counts, wherein Diezani’s name was mentioned, but she was declared as being “at large.”
  • A lawyer, Obinna Onya on Tuesday told Justice Aikawa that Diezani would like to be joined as a defendant.
  • He said the former minister is willing to return to Nigeria to defend herself.
  • The application prayed an order “mandating the Attorney General of the Federation, being the agent of the complainant, to facilitate the prompt appearance of the applicant in court on the next adjourned date.”

“The statement made by the prosecution means that the applicant (Diezani) is going to be convicted without being given the opportunity to defend herself,” Onya told Justice Aikawa.

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