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Tuesday , 12 December 2017

Diezani’s N500m fraud suit: Court to hear application October 30

Justice Rilwan Aikawa of Federal High Court in Lagos will on October 30 hear an application by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, seeking to be joined as defendant in money laundering suit.

The former minister is seeking to be joined as defendant in a N500 million fraud charge slammed on Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dele Belgore.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also joined in the charge, former Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Suleiman.

In essence, Mrs. Allison-Madueke wants the court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to bring her back to Nigeria from UK, where she has been since 2015, to put up her defence in the case.

The EFCC had in a five-count amended charge, named former petroleum minister as culprit in the criminal trial of Messrs. Belgore and Sulaiman over alleged N500 million fraud.

She was, however, described as being “at large “.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the N500 million was part of 115 million dollars which the former minister allegedly doled out to compromise the 2015 general elections.

Earlier efforts by Mrs. Allison-Madueke’s lawyer, Obinna Onya, to move his application on Tuesday, was turned down by Mr. Aikawa on the grounds that he was yet to serve same to all parties.

The judge said he could only hear the application after all parties had been properly served.

The lawyer also earlier contended that contrary to declaration by EFCC that Mrs. Allison-Madueke was at large, the former minister was in UK and was willing to return to Nigeria to defend the charges.

He insisted that since his client’s name had been mentioned in the charge, it would be unfair to allow the case

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