Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency is seeking to extradite former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke from Britain to face corruption charges back home. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) argues the corruption case against her in Britain has dragged far too long.
EFCC chairperson Ibrahim Magu said the British probe began even before he was appointed and she had still not been charged.
“It is very unreasonable that she is not being tried there,” he told a news conference in the capital, Abuja.
“That’s why I say, if you cannot prosecute her, bring her here. We will prosecute her… We cannot wait endlessly like this. I think three years and above is sufficient to take her to court.”Alison-Madueke was the first female head of OPEC, was arrested in London in October 2015 as part of a probe into global corruption.
She has been on bail ever since, and been linked to a string of money laundering, bribery and asset recovery cases in Nigeria, Italy and the United States. A judge in Lagos in November last year even accused her of seeking to “avoid justice” after her lawyers applied to have her name attached to a fraud case. Nigerian court cases frequently last years and there is criticism about corruption in the judiciary. There was no immediate response from the interior ministry in London, the National Crime Agency or the British mission in Abuja.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in 2015 on a promise to root out endemic corruption and end impunity in Africa’s most populous nation. That included reforming the notoriously opaque Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which Alison-Madueke oversaw.