newtelegraphonline.com – There are strong indications that the Federal Government’s move to seek the extradition of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, from London, may depend largely on the conclusion of investigations by the United Kingdom (UK) government. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), apart from probing the former minister on other fronts, recently traced $115 million lodgement to Fidelity Bank Plc., said to have been made by her, ostensibly to compromise some state officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), during the 2015 Presidential election.
However, Sunday Telegraph gathered from some sources, that the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), may have to conclude its investigation of Alison-Madueke, on allegations of money laundering, before action it could be taken on her possible extradition. Alison-Madueke, one of the most influential ministers during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was said to have been arrested sometime last year by operatives of the NCA, UK, alongside four others.
She was later granted bail, while investigations continue. Speaking in confidence with Sunday Telegraph, one of the sources said, “As you are aware, there is an existing Mutual Legal Assistance. Treaty (MLAT), “By the provisions of the MLAT, Nigeria and the UK are expected to facilitate the extradition of citizens of both countries, who commit crimes, to face trial in the home country,” he said.
He, however, said in the case of Alison-Madueke, the UK government will conclude its investigation of the former ‘super-powerful’ minister, before talks on possible extradition – where the need arises – will begin. Alison-Madueke, who is said to be down with cancer in London, is expected to explain to the EFCC, the purpose of the $115 million lodgment in Fidelity Bank Plc. The Commission has since quizzed Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Fidelity Bank, Access Bank Plc., as well as that of Sterling Bank Plc.
Among other prominent personalities that have been interrogated, in the wake of the discovery of the $115 million, are a former Director of Finance, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mrs. Esther Nenadi Usman; former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali.