Court issues arrest warrant against Diezani over alleged money laundering

Diezani Alison-Madueke

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday issued an arrest warrant against a former minister of petroleum resources Diezani Alison-Madueke to face money laundering charges.

Diezani, who is believed to be residing in the United Kingdom, had fled Nigeria since the expiration of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Justice Bolaji Olajuwon granted an oral request for arrest warrant made by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Farouk Abdullah.

The court had fixed November 3, 2021, for the EFCC to give a report on its effort at extraditing Diezani to the country to stand her trial, and for possible mention of the case.

But on the adjourned date, the case was stalled as neither Abdullah nor Diezani was in sight.

Justice Olajuwon then fixed January 24 for the matter and adjourned for report or for possible mention of the matter.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who was formerly in charge of the case, had on October 28, 2020, rejected EFCC’s request to issue a warrant of arrest against Diezani, citing the commission’s failure to enforce the earlier criminal summons, which the court issued on the former minister since July 24, 2020.

Among other things, Diezani is wanted by the commission to clear the air on “her role in financing the 2015 general elections, particularly the money that were warehoused at Fidelity Bank Plc in 2015 prior to the elections.”

She is also wanted to speak on several items, documents and jewellery recovered from her house at 10, Chiluba Close, off Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and some identified property that were linked to her in Nigeria, UK, US, United Arab Emirate and South Africa.