EFCC fires more shots at Diezani Alison-Madueke, reveals how former minister’s lawyer prevented investigators from interrogating her in UK
- The counsel to former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been accused by the EFCC, of denying them access to interrogate the ex-minister in the UK
- The former minister had filed a motion seeking for her name to be included in charges filed against Jide Omokore and others; in order to enable her return to Nigeria and defend herself in one of the charges
- The EFCC however countered her request before the court, as it stated that the former minister is being investigated in the UK, for financial crimes
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that the counsel to former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, refused to permit its investigative team to meet with the ex-minister, Punch reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that in a counter-affidavit filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Commission stated that its efforts to interrogate the former minister in the UK, were foiled by her counsel, John Binns of BCL Solicitors.
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The Commission is investigating Alison-Madueke for various allegations of corruption, including abuse of office, money laundering, stealing of public funds and illegal acquisition of properties within and outside Nigeria.
The former minister had filed a motion seeking an amendment to the heading of the charges filed against Mr. Olajide Omokore, a businessman, and five others.
She sought for her name to be added to the list of defendants, in order to enable her defend herself in respect of the allegations against her in one of the nine counts.
However, addressing the court, Mr. Rufai Zaki, an EFCC detective, countered the former minister’s motion.
He stated: “That at the tail end of the tenure of the applicant as Minister of Petroleum Resources, the commission received a lot of complaints and intelligence reports against the applicant, alleging that she was involved in various corrupt practices, money laundering, stealing of public funds and illegal acquisition of properties within and outside Nigeria.
“That immediately the applicant (Alison-Madueke) got to know that investigations had commenced in respect of her various nefarious illegal financial activities while she was the Minister of Petroleum Resources, she absconded from Nigeria in order to escape the investigation and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“That upon realising that the applicant is in the United Kingdom, we made efforts to schedule a meeting with the applicant in order to interview her in respect of her involvement in the activities leading to this charge and many other alleged financial crimes linked to her but up till now, she had always avoided having any meeting with members of our team.
“That the applicant’s lawyer in the United Kingdom, one John Binns of BCL Solicitors, informed the members of the team of investigators headed by Abdulrasheed Bawa, when they visited the United Kingdom in March, 2017, that the team would not be permitted to meet the applicant for any interview in view of the fact that she is not within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That while in the United Kingdom, the applicant had been invited by the Metropolitan Police, who are investigating her for several other financial crimes.
“She has been released on bail in the United Kingdom but could not leave the United Kingdom as their investigations have reached advanced stages.”
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Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, September 20, blocked an attempt by Diezani Alison-Madueke, former petroleum minister, to return from London and face trial in Nigeria.
Alison-Madueke left Nigeria and fled to London after she left office in May 2015.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video of EFCC staff staging a walk against corruption[embedded content]
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