Why not try Diezani in the UK?

by Alexander O. Onukwue


The British judiciary will probably do a better job of convicting Diezani Alison-Madueke than in Nigeria, as many comments on social media on the Bring Back Diezani sit-out have indicated.

Some say this is because, unlike the political connections involved in Nigeria’s judiciary, the hands of the British may not be tied. Mrs. Alison-Madueke has been in the UK since 2015 and has charges to answer to over there. Trying her in the UK before Nigeria and the US can take their turns to bring cases against her is being suggested by social media followers of the issue as a better plan than seeking to bring her back to Nigeria.

Apathy towards bringing Mrs Alison-Madueke back may also be connected with the disposition of the chief prosecutor of the country and the success rate recorded so far in the anti-corruption moves of the Buhari administration. The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has not seemed very keen on the anti-corruption trials so far. He is reported to be in some kind of disagreement with the EFCC acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu; it is fair to say they don’t have the best of relationships.

Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, was tried and convicted in the UK, though he reassumed his lordship status upon his return to Nigeria. Mr Ibori was known to have long running battles with the EFCC from the days of Nuhu Ribadu but his huge connections with the Government of the day would have made a successful trial nearly impossible to amount to a conviction.

The scenario with Mrs Alison-Madueke is different from that of Ibori, but it is one of the aims of the sit-outs to bring her back to propagate for providing intelligence to the British prosecutors for charges to be brought against her and for trial to begin over there. Unless she has, in the UK, as many well-placed individuals in the fabric of the Nigerian state, many observe she is already close to justice there.

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