Malami says no need to bring Diezani to Nigeria for trial

Contrary to her wish, Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources, will not be brought back to Nigeria for trial as demanded by her, according to Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation.

Malami said since she is already facing charges of money laundering in the United Kingdom, “it is important to face the charges there than for her to come as a mere witness in a case in Nigeria”.

Alison-Madueke had filed a suit at a high court in Abuja seeking to be joined in an ongoing money laundering involving her associates.

She wants the AGF compelled to bring her back to Nigeria from the UK — but there are insinuations that she wants to escape from a certain conviction overseas since Nigerian courts have no impressive record of jailing high-profile suspects.

Civil society groups have taken to the streets, demanding her return to Nigeria for trial.

Speaking to the media after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Malami said the federal government “will not take any decision that will jeopardise what the UK government is doing”.

“The truth of the matter is that the government is doing something especially on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside the country,” he said.

“Considering the fact that there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries especially United Kingdom on the recovery of stolen funds, you cannot say government is not doing anything.”

He said steps have been taken by the UK authorities on issues bordering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians.

“If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that,” he said.

“As things are now, there is no need for that since the UK government is already investigating her and government will not take any decision that will jeopardise what the UK government is doing.”

Malami dismissed suggestions that she might not get fair hearing.

“The issue is not about fair hearing now, we are talking about investigation first and it is not within Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke’s power to ask the federal government to bring her to testify in any case in Nigeria,” Malami added.

SOURCE: The Cable

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