Court Dismisses Diezani’s Application For Nigerian Trial
Hopes of embattled former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to be joined as defendant in an alleged N450 million fraud case in Nigeria was, yesterday, dashed by a Federal High Court,Lagos, which dismissed her application.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa rejected the application and described it as bizarre and mis-use of court processes. The judge stressed that he would not allow himself to be used to frustrate Diezani’s imminent trial in the United Kingdom, where she is currently under investigation and on bail.
The judge declined all Diezani’s prayers, which include d an order mandating the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to facilitate her return from the UK, where she is currently being investigated for alleged fraud by the Metropolitan Police.
This is not the proper time to join the applicant as a defendant. The applicant has aroused my curiosity as to why she waited this long before coming up with the application for joinder.
“The court lacks the power to interfere with the powers of the AGF. The application for joiner is lacking in merit and same is hereby dismissed”, the court ruled.
Alison-Madueke sought to be joined as a defendant in the money laundering charge preferred against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Dele Belgore, alongside former minister of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Suleiman.
The former minister’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) in the application, urged Justice Aikawa to issue an order mandating the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to list her as a party to the charge involving Belgore and Suleiman.
In the charge, the anti-graft agency mentioned the former petroleum resources minister as being at large.