The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has said the EFCC is seeking the extradition of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, because the United Kingdom authorities have failed to take legal action against her despite being there since 2015.
Magu said this while briefing journalists on the activities of the EFCC in Abuja on Monday.
The acting EFCC boss said the commission was equipped to successfully prosecute the former minister who has been accused of mismanaging oil funds to the tune of $20bn.
When asked if her extradition to Nigeria would not affect her pending case in the UK, Magu said, “There is no court trial. She was being investigated even before I assumed office. So, it has taken so long and it is very unreasonable that she is not being tried there.
“So, we are tired of waiting and that was why I said if you cannot prosecute her, bring her and we will prosecute her. There is no prosecution going on in the UK.”
The EFCC also blamed the justice system for the delay in prosecuting former Governor Peter Odili of Rivers State, who was accused of mismanaging funds to the tune of N100bn.
Odili, who was governor from 1999 to 2007, had in 2008 obtained a perpetual injunction barring all government agencies from arresting or prosecuting him.
The Director of Legal Department, Mr Chile Okoroma, said all attempts to vacate the order had been frustrated.
Okoroma said different lawyers had filed applications at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court simultaneously which had muddled up the entire process.
He said, “We appealed against that judgment. We filed our processes, we filed our brief and then we were waiting for them to file the respondent brief but they did not file it and later, Peter Odili applied to be joined in the appeal and then subsequently, we got leave in 2008 to appeal against that judgment.”
The EFCC director said the commission would pursue the case to a logical conclusion.
“It is the loopholes in the judicial process they are exploiting. So, it is not as if we abandoned the matter. We are just doing what we can do within our power. You know the justice system is very slow in this country. We are following up on it,” he said.
Magu also said a former Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, Ngozi Olojeme, had for the second time evaded the EFCC and fled the country.
Olojeme, who was the deputy chairman, Finance Committee of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in the 2015 election, had been under probe for allegedly mismanaging over N62bn belonging to the NSITF.
However, she fled to South Africa where she remained for nearly two years. After much pressure, Olojeme returned in December 2017 and was detained by the EFCC.
The commission subsequently seized several houses from her including a mansion in Maitama and was supposed to arraign her in court but never did.
Responding to question on why Olojeme had not been arraigned, the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, said she had fled the country again.
The acting EFCC boss said Olojeme seemed to have more than one passport and was able to flee the country without the knowledge of the commission.
Magu said, “The woman is no longer in the country. She escaped because she had multiple passports. I think she has another citizenship. Olojeme escaped but we are on the case. We are working on it.”
Magu also challenged a journalist questioning the source of wealth of the All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu.
He simply asked the journalist to write a petition against Tinubu and substantiate his allegations.