BusinessDay

Surrender yourself for trial now, court orders Diezani

 

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Maudeke, to appear before it and answer to charges against her.
The order followed a motion ex-parte argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Faruk Abdallah.
The commission said it wanted her to answer some questions on money laundering case and other criminal charges against her.
Arguing the motion, Abdallah said since Diezani left the country in 2015, the anti-graft agency has been unable to reach her to respond to the criminal allegations against her.
Abdallah said there was the need for a court summons or arrest warrant to compel her appearance in court.
The EFCC, in a document filed along with the motion ex-parte, said it sought to question Diezani, without success, in relation to many allegations against her, including “her role as the Minister of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) to; Septa Energy Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited by NNPC.
The commission said it also wants Diezani to respond to questions about “her role in the chartering of private jets by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ministry of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of contracts by NNPC to Marine and Logistics Services Limited.
The EFCC said it is investigating Diezani’s business relationships with individuals, including Donald Amamgbo,  lgho Sanomi,  Afam Nwokedi, Chief lkpea Leemon, Miss Olatimbo Bukola Ayinde,  Benedict Peters, Christopher Aire, Harcourt Adukeh, Julian Osula, Dauda Lawal, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Leno Laithan, Sahara Energy Group and Midwestern Oil Limited.
It added that Dezani was also required to clear air on “her role in financing the 2015 general elections, particularly the money that were warehoused at Fidelity Bank Plc in 20015 prior to the elections.”
The EFCC said it also wants the ex-minister to speak on several items, documents and jewelleries recovered from her house at No: 10 Chiluba Close off Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and  some identified properties that are linked to her’ In Nigeria, UK, United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirate (UAE) and South Africa.
In a ruling on Friday, on an ex-parte motion, Justice Ojukwu issued court summons on Diezani for her to appear in court for the purpose of her arraignment on the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018.
To put Diezani on notice, who was said to have fled Nigeria for the United Kingdom (UK), Justice Ojukwu ordered that the court’s summons should be published on the website of the EFCC and a national daily in a conspicuous manner.
Justice Ojukwu adjourned till October 28 for her arraignment.

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