Saturday, April 30, 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari plans extradition of suspected looters who fled Nigeria

The diplomatic process that will ensure the extradition of suspected looters who have fled the country will dominate President Muhammadu Buhari’s discussions with his counterparts when 60 world leaders meet in the United Kingdom next month.

Saturday PUNCH learnt on Friday that the President would at the summit explore ways of bringing to the country politicians who were being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

It was gathered that the outcome of the summit would speed up the extradition of individuals, including a former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro;  a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu; and a former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Others are the ex-Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; her son, Ugonna; and a former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, whose house was raided in Abuja in January by the EFCC.

Also included are a former Senior Political Adviser to ex-President and Coordinator of Goodluck Support Group, Prof.  Rufai Alkali, who coordinated the disbursement of N320m allegedly collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria during the 2015 elections and the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, who is being allegedly investigated over $1.1bn Malabu Oil deal.

While Obanikoro, who is believed to be in the United States, is wanted in connection with the alleged payment of N1.45bn to his companies, Muazu is reportedly wanted over disbursement of funds to PDP zonal chairmen. He was reported to be in Singapore.

Alison-Madueke and her son are being investigated for N2.3bn disbursed to some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission through Fidelity Bank before the 2015 general elections.

While the former minister is in the UK, the whereabouts of her son is unknown.

Findings revealed that some of the pacts that would be signed by the world leaders at the summit would pave the way for the extradition of those who were being investigated.

A senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who confided inSaturday PUNCH, said at the sideline of the summit, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, would meet with law-enforcement agencies from 59 other countries.

The senior official said, “The Federal Government is determined to bring politicians, who are under investigations, but have fled the country. The summit will afford the EFCC and the Ministry of Justice the opportunity of discussing how those guys will be interrogated for the offences they have allegedly committed.”

Source: The Punch

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